Monday, October 19, 2015

Typography: Corresponding Through Punctuation

San Diego Union, (California), June 5, 1938

A few years ago a coal dealer was anxious to receive a shipment of coal that he had ordered, and sent the wholesaler a postal card with only a semi-colon printed on the reverse side. It meant, “Send my coal on.” The wholesaler caught on and sent back a postal with only a colon on the reverse side. It meant, ”Coal on.” Catch on?
Postal Oddities” was written by James Blakely Trapp and drawn by John Miller Baer. The use of the question mark and exclamation point as correspondence is examined here.

(Next post on Monday: Monograms and Vignettes)

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