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Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Nuts and Bolts: dinkus.

What if a story jumps from, say, mediaeval Venice to a colony living on the moon?

Meanwhile, back on the moon won't work because (presumably) the moon scene is happening further forward in time.

You could leave a space and start again (this space might be called a lacuna, though in publishing it's usually rather dully called a two-line break) or you could fill the space with something pretty, like a fleuron, an asterism, a horizontal line, or even something especially appropriate for the story - for our mediaeval Venice/colony in space story you might have a little moon symbol or a carnival mask, for instance. 

Or you could fill the space with more or less anything else:


This more-or-less-anything symbol you can call by various dull but easily understood names, like space break symbol or paragraph divider, but the special term for this type of thing is the adorable dinkus.


I think I may be going to start using them whenever possible.


Thing To Use Today: a dinkus. I can't find a mention of this word in any dictionary so I don't know anything about its origins. There is a Scots and Northern English word dink, though, which means to deck out finely, which sounds as if it might have something to do with it. 

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