The Intriguing Math of Punctuation

Another interesting article by Nicholas 🤔

Nicholas C. Rossis

When you think of punctuation, do you think of math?

You probably should, as scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IFJ PAN) in Cracow explain in a study reported by The study compared punctuation between seven, mainly Western, languages and concluded that it’s strangely mathematical: the same statistical features of punctuation usage patterns were observed in several hundred works written in all of these languages.

Punctuation, then, turns out to be a universal and indispensable complement to the mathematical perfection of every language studied.

“The present analyses are an extension of our earlier results on the multifractal features of sentence length variation in works of world literature. After all, what is sentence length? It is nothing more than the distance to the next specific punctuation mark— the full stop. So now we have taken all punctuation marks under a statistical magnifying…

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