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  1. The Rise and Fall of the Pilcrow, Part II
  2. The Power of a Pilcrow
  3. Pilcrow definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

The Rise and Fall of the Pilcrow, Part II

Commas, apostrophes, dashes require little ink, but still surround themselves with generous canvases. Lowercase letters are often content with occupying very little of the space provided. Just look around, right here on this page.

But all that whitespace did not appear overnight, and travelling back through thousands of years of history provides clues on how we went from then to now. Early on, reading text was like driving Interstate 5 through L. Bowl-to- bowl traffic, zero punctuation, no lowercase letter shapes to help the eye commute. Reading was hard work — so hard, indeed, that one would usually read out loud, and only in that way realize where to pause, where to breathe, and where to stop.

One of the first on the scene — before the rest of punctuation made their figurative and literal mark — was the pilcrow, inserted in between yet-shapeless paragraphs, still figuring out its final shape. As, throughout the ages, we started recognizing the value of whitespace, inventing the technology necessary to support it, and learning how to reduce the cost of paper, pilcrows often found themselves dropped to a new line. Eventually, with the tight deadlines and mechanized print taking over manual lettering, rubricators slowly started running out of time to ink in all those pilcrows… and it turned out that the invention of a new line and the room reserved to hold pilcrows were in and of themselves enough of an indication of a new paragraph.

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The Power of a Pilcrow

And so the pilcrow slowly disappeared, the indentation at the beginning of a paragraph sticking around as its afterimage. Other places — Medium included — prefer no indentation between paragraphs, but generous space in between. The pilcrow all but disappeared in common use, but typography aficionados kept its spirit alive. Dagger , caret , obelus?

Hells yeah. Super weird names, but please, invite them and their extended families. Page Breaks Section break Yes No. Still need help?

Pilcrow Meaning

Submit support request. Your feedback. It referred to a lever on the typewriter which would move the assembly the carriage to the right so that the machine was positioned again on the left hand side of the paper ready to begin a new line of text.

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At the same time, it would advance the paper to the next line. But I digress!

Pilcrow definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

The Pilcrow is entered into the Word document by pressing the Enter key on the keyboard. In other words, it acts as a stopper or a barrier for all the formatting available in the Paragraph group on the Home Tab of the Ribbon or all the formatting contained in a Paragraph Style and keeps it in the current clause.

Have you ever accidently deleted a Pilcrow at the end of a paragraph only to find that all the spacing or indenting etc was instantly applied to the paragraph below?

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