Can you read this? Maybe this will help:
This makes things even easier:
¶This appears to be gibberish – something that would be the result of a lizard high on LSD/ frolicking on a computer keyboard.¶ Timothy Leary said, «Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.»
Finally, replace the ¶ with paragraphs and «» with””, and we get the modern day printed text – easy to read and write. The first example is an all uppercase unbroken stream of letters with lines running alternately left-to-right and then right-to-left across the page in boustrophedon, or ‘ox-turning,’ style, after a farmer driving his oxen across a field (a tractor instead of oxen in the present era).
This, and other such fascinating facts can be found in this gem of a book called “Shady Characters” by Keith Houston.
One gets to learn about the obscure origins of modern day punctuation marks like the ubiquitous # (the contentiously named octothorpe) and @. The evolution of the ampersand (&), hyphen, dash, quotation marks is detailed in a sassy yet vivid style. The prodigious research that has been done is obvious from the copious foot-notes and bibliography.
Many symbols came into being and died out from disuse like the Pilcrow (¶), Manicule and the Interrobang , many were abortions like symbols for irony and sarcasm.
The advent of new technologies and the impact of religion and various philosophical schools of thought have impacted the way we read and write – the printing press of Gutenberg, Linotype, the typewriter, and finally the digital age have brought revolutionary changes to cultural exchanges within our global village.