You’ve Got Punctuated! Stories in Strokes and Dashes
Steps of Construction
I have taken the body text of these popular novels and novellas from the public-domain Project Guttenberg (www.gutenberg.org/) except Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar from GPortal (http://letters.to.stephanie.gportal.hu/). I copy-pasted the text on MS-Word files and removed all the elements leaving only the punctuations through the following steps:
1. Ctrl+A to select all text.
2. Ctrl+H to open the Find & Replace dialog box. In ‘Find what’, type ^p^p. The ^p means a line break. In ‘Replace with’, type === to make sure only single line breaks are replaced.
3. Click on ‘Replace All’.
4. Do another search and replace. For ‘Find what’, use ^p. For the replacement, use ‘ ’ (space).
5. Finally, replace the replacement above for two consecutive hard line breaks. Search for === and replace it with ^p.
6. After removing all the single and double spaces plus the breaks, replace the letters alphabetically one by one. Ctrl+H to open the Find & Replace dialog box. In ‘Find what’, type ‘<letter>‘ from ‘a’ to ‘z’ and replace it with a blank space. Repeat it for the numbers from ‘0’ to ‘9’.
7. Refine it on Adobe Photoshop.
- Formatting with single space and at Times Roman 11pt, the average number of pages with punctuations only for each classic novels ranges from three to eight, except for The Metamorphosis that has only one.
- Wuthering Heights has 10,542 Ws and 32,677 Hs. In Life’s Little Ironies, there are 23,908 Hs but only 366 Qs.
- Sentimental Education, or, the History of a Young Man is 172,598-word long (and it has 102,435 Es!)
- Candide is mentioned 372 times in Candide, Gregor 299 times in The Metamorphosis and Mrs Cole 76 times in Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure.
- By a rough estimate, the least used letters in these novels and are j q x and z.
The Mysterious Origins of Punctuation
A History of Punctuation for the Internet Age
Five Punctuation Marks That Look Nothing Like They Used To
10 Totally True Things You Didn’t Know About Punctuation