June 18, 2014

"Ben ('Two Pricks') Jonson."

"One of the first to codify the rules of punctuation in English was the playwright Ben Jonson--or rather, Ben:Jonson, who included the colon (he called it the 'pause' or 'two pricks') in his signature. In the final chapter of The English Grammar (1640), Jonson briefly discusses the primary functions of the comma, parenthesis, period, colon, question mark (the 'interrogation'), and exclamation point (the 'admiration')."

From "A Brief History of Punctuation/Where Do the Marks of Punctuation Come From and Who Made Up the Rules?"

9 comments:

mccullough said...

One of Shakespeare's early detractors. Figures he was a punctuation freak.

Strelnikov said...

You mean like Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLjS3gzHetA

YoungHegelian said...

Ben:Jonson, who included the .... 'two pricks') in his signature.

"Benji", as he was called, was reportedly very popular with the ladies.

DKWalser said...

One of my favorite classes in college was "Modern American Usage" (what most of us think of as grammar). Many of the difficulties we have with spelling and "grammar" rules can be attributed to to men, Samuel Johnson and Robert Lowth. Dr. Johnson, at the request of publishers, wrote the first English dictionary in an attempt to fix the spelling and meaning of words. Bishop Lowth wrote a very influential book on English grammar in an attempt to proscribe how the language should be written and spoken. The grammar was based on Latin, under the belief that English was a corrupted form of that more pure language. It is from Lowth that we get many of the hard to follow rules, such as never ending a sentence with a preposition, and from Johnson that we have so many oddly spelled words. Mostly useless information that I found (and find) totally fascinating.

John said...

Two pricks, huh?

Sounds like a double dildo.

John Henry

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

http://www.shakespeare-online.com/biography/benjonson.html --
"He [Ben Jonson] was extremely combative. It was almost a necessity for him to quarrel with some person or with some opinion. He killed two men in duels, and he would probably have been hanged, if he had not pleaded benefit of clergy. For the greater part of his life, he was often occupied with pen and ink quarrels."


http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/playwright-ben-jonson-is-indicted-for-manslaughter --
"Jonson's father, a clergyman, died before Jonson was born, and he was raised by his mother and stepfather, a master bricklayer at Westminster. Jonson attended Westminster school, where he was educated by great classical scholars. He tried his hand at bricklaying, then joined the army and traveled to Flanders, where he killed a man in single combat.

....

"Jonson was also jailed twice for his writing and viewed with some suspicion for his conversion to Catholicism."

R.A. Crankbait said...

Arthur ("Two Sheds") Jackson wished to remain off the record.

Sam L. said...

Strelnikov beat me to it. I pine for the fjords.

Tibore said...

So, iconoclast or traditionalist? The funny thing is that you can answer "Both".