1 For the descriptivist versus prescriptivist debate I have relied upon Deborah
Cameron’s book Verbal Hygiene (see pp. 5–8 in particular). “Truss” refers to
Lynne Truss who wrote the best-seller Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Toler-
ance Approach to Punctuation.
2 This language comes from Anna Scott’s call for a conference at the University
of California, Riverside. See also Elkins, Visual Studies.
3 Richard Artschwager, personal correspondence with the author, August 19,
4 Harold Herd, Everybody’s Guide to Punctuation (1925), quoted in Partridge, You
Have a Point There, 5.
5 Quoted in Spivak, A Critique of Postcolonial Reason, 428.
6 Benjamin, Illuminations, 10.
7 I italicize this term as it is meant to evoke Eve Sedgwick’s book of the same
8 See Greene, The Trouble with Ownership. See also Jeff Masten’s work, Textual
Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama.
9 Cappon, Guide to Punctuation, 1.
10 Truman Capote, The Paris Review Interviews, vol. 1, 39.
11 See Mercer, “Black Hair/Style Politics.”
12 See Graf, “Gestures and Conventions.”
13 Bremmer and Roodenburg, A Cultural History of Gesture, 6. My work has
been informed as well by Elin Diamond’s explication of Brechtian gestus in her
Unmaking Mimesis, 52–55; more specifically, her formulation of the “not . . .
but” made (as in much of Derrida’s work) with punctuation as a key figure to
the concept. We can see then how punctuation is performative—how it is con-
stitutive of and “does” and “makes” material figurations. Quintilian extends
Cicero’s work. See Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria, trans. H. E. Butler. Loeb
Classic Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1984.
14 Ronell, The Telephone Book, 8.