A 1648 "smiley face"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Tue Apr 15 21:12:40 UTC 2014

I've written up my skeptical take on the 1648 find for Slate's Lexicon
Valley blog (crediting Bonnie's work on EEBO):


On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 11:12 AM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> That was a quick follow-up to my thought!  2014 smiley face.
> Joel
> At 4/15/2014 11:01 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
>>On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 10:16 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> >
>> > So I wonder whether placing "pausing" punctuation -- comma in the
>> > Hawthorne example, colon in Herrick -- before a closing parenthesis
>> > was simply a common style in the former days of profuse punctuation
>> > marks.
>>I asked Benjamin Schmidt, a digital humanities scholar and topnotch
>>corpus-wrangler, if it would be possible to find other examples of a
>>colon followed by a closing parenthesis in a historical corpus that
>>tokenizes punctuation. He did a quick check on pre-1700 books on the
>>Internet Archive and found that most results were OCR errors, but
>>plenty were just ordinary punctuation. A few examples:

Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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