This month Keith Houston is our guide to the sometimes-forgotten (but eternally-interesting) realms of punctuation. His blog Shady Characters and its eponymous book Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation explore the history and use of the marks that make our work so readable.
Ben Zimmer is a linguist, lexicographer, and language columnist—a word guru. From tracking the etymology of (and drama over) the word sneaker to interviewing Stephen Colbert about truthiness, Zimmer keeps tabs on the continuing evolution of language. With technology accelerating these changes and fueling debates over usage, Shop Talk decided to . . .