ATG Quirkies: You were wondering… what would you do without these?

This post in The Guardian traces the unfinished story of … how the ellipsis arrived in English literatureDr Anne Toner of Cambridge University “believes she has identified the earliest use of the eEllipsisllipsis in English drama, pinning it down to a 1588 edition of the Roman dramatist Terence’s play, Andria which had been translated into English by Maurice Kyffin and printed by Thomas East.”

“This was a brilliant innovation,” she writes in Ellipsis in English Literature: Signs of Omission, which has just been published by Cambridge University Press. Toner goes on to say “It’s interesting to think about whose idea it was to use what turned out to be a very useful resource … was it the translator of the Terence play, or the printer? Who the agent was behind the mark is very unclear,” Toner said. “But you then start to see it being used relatively quickly in dramatic works … in Ben Jonson plays, for example.”

(Thanks, as always, to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies!)

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