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Interpunct

From Academic Kids

Punctuation marks

apostrophe ( ' ) ( )
brackets ( ( ) ) ( [ ] ) ( { } ) ( Template:Unicode )
colon ( : )
comma ( , )
dashes ( Template:Unicode ) ( ) ( ) ( )
ellipsis ( ) ( ... )
exclamation mark ( ! )
full stop/period ( . )
hyphen ( - ) ( Template:Unicode )
interrobang ( Template:Unicode )
question mark ( ? )
quotation marks ( ‘ ’ ) ( “ ” )
semicolon ( ; )
slash/solidus ( / )
space (   ) and interpunct ( ˇ )

Other typographer's marks

ampersand ( & )
asterisk ( * ) and asterism ( Template:Unicode )
at ( @ )
backslash ( \ )
bullet ( , more )
dagger ( † ‡ )
degrees ( ° )
number sign ( # )
prime ( )
tilde ( ~ )
underscore ( _ )
vertical bar/pipe ( | )

An interpunct is a small dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script, being perhaps the first consistent visual representation of word boundaries in written language. The dot is vertically centered, e.g. DONA·NOBIS·REQVIEM", and is therefore also called a middle dot or centered dot. In addition to the round dot form, inscriptions sometimes use a small equilateral triangle for the interpunct, pointing either up or down. Such triangles can be found on inscriptions on buildings in the twentieth century.

Ancient Greek, by contrast, had not developed interpuncts; all the letters ran together. When a wave of enthusiasm for all things Greek swept ancient Rome, the use of interpuncts disappeared, presumably being inadequately fashionable. The use of spaces for word separation didn't appear until much later, sometime between 600 and 800 AD.

In Unicode, the interpunct is code point 0183, or 00B7 in hexadecimal. The HTML entity for an interpunct is ·.

In British typography, an interpunct is sometimes called a space dot.

In some word processors, interpuncts are used to denote either hard space or space characters.

Grammar lessons in the Japanese language sometimes use a similar symbol to separate a verb suffix from its root.

A punctuation mark resembling the interpunct is used in the characteristically Catalan grapheme "ŀl" (called ele geminada, "geminate l"). It is used to distinguish a lengthened "l" from a palatized "l", written "ll".

In the Shavian alphabet, the interpunct is used before a word to denote it as a proper noun.

See also

fr:Point médian
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