Komma Subdistinctio Virgula Suspensiva “Comma” Mark: a Biography

Unlike its sibling Period, Comma’s shape and name have fluctuated since its birth in the 3rd century BC. Born as Komma, it grew up on the mezzanine level (neither the attic nor the basement). Komma was never especially powerful, and could only command brief spurts of silence before everyone else continued. Komma lived in jealousy of Period, who could silence a room for moments on end.

Dropping to the baseline during puberty, Komma adopted the name Subdistinctio, and along with it, grammatical significance. Still, Subdistinctio could not hold attention for longer than short moments.
Frustrated with its lack of power, Subdistinctio underwent a full rebrand in the 12th century, becoming Virgula Suspensiva, a tall slash. No matter how hard it tried, however, Virgula Suspensiva could muster no more than a fleeting break.

At the turn of the 16th century, Virgula Suspensiva rebranded once more, this time for good. Comma was rebirthed, combining the form of Komma, the position of Subdistinctio, and the angle of Virgula Suspensiva. In this final rebrand, Comma fully embraced its position as a quick respite that can connect, adding many accolades to its résumé, including: Lists Supervisor, a degree from Oxford, Denoter of Dependent Clauses, Appositivist, Addresser, Three Digit Organizer and Postage & Calendar Coordinator.

Though it never married, Comma brought forth a pair of twins, Double Quotations, and Single Quotation. Unlike their parent, the playful Quotations sometimes appear upside down, and have rooms in the attic.
Over time, Comma even superceded Period in some arenas. It even gained the ability to connect two independent clauses, with the help of Conjunctions, something Period could never do. And it replaced Period in certain situations, in combination with its children, the Quotations.

In its old age, and in an era where texting is abundant, Comma has lost some of its abilities. It rarely functions as Addresser, nobody respects its degree from Oxford anymore, and it appears less and less. But, Comma has frequently usurped the ability of its cranky sibling Semicolon to connect independent clauses, without the help of Conjunctions.


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