The placement of punctuation marks corresponding to the purpose in sentences plays an important role. Writer K.G. Paustovsky compared them with musical signs that “do not allow the text to crumble.” Now it is even difficult for us to imagine that for a long time the usual small signs were not used when printing books.
Punctuation marks appeared in Europe with the spread of typography. The system of signs was not invented by Europeans, but borrowed from the ancient Greeks in the 15th century. Before their appearance, texts were difficult to read: there were no gaps between words, or the writing represented undivided segments. In our country, the rules for the placement of punctuation marks began to operate only in the 18th century, representing a section of the science of language called "punctuation". The founder of this innovation was M.V. Lomonosov.
The period is considered the most ancient sign, the ancestor of punctuation (the names of some others are associated with it). Occurring in ancient Russian monuments, the point had a different use from today. It could once have been placed without observing a certain order and not at the bottom, as now, but in the middle of the line.
The comma is a very common punctuation mark. The name can be found already in the 15th century. According to V.I. Dahl, the lexical meaning of the word has to do with the verbs "wrist", "stammer", which now should be understood in the meaning of "stop" or "delay".
Most of the other punctuation marks appeared during the 16th and 18th centuries. Brackets and colons began to be used in the 16th century, as evidenced by written records. 17-18 centuries - the time when Russian Dolomonosov grammars mention the exclamation mark. At the end of sentences with pronounced strong feelings, a vertical straight line was drawn above the point. M.V. Lomonosov defined the rules for setting the exclamation mark. In printed books of the 16th century. you can find a question mark, but only two centuries later it began to be used to express a question. The semicolon was first used as an intermediate between the colon and the comma, and also replaced the question mark.
Much later came ellipsis and dashes. The historian and writer N. Karamzin made them popular and consolidated their use in writing. In the Grammar of A.Kh. Vostokov (1831), an ellipsis is noted, but in written sources it was found earlier.
The word "quotation marks" was in use already in the 16th century, however, it denoted a note (hook) sign. According to the assumption, Karamzin proposed to introduce quotation marks into written speech. The naming "quotes" can be compared to the word "paws".
There are ten punctuation marks in modern Russian. Most of their names are of primordial Russian origin, the word "dash" is borrowed from the French language. Old names are interesting. Brackets were called "capacious" signs (there was some information inside). The speech was interrupted by a "silent woman" - a dash, a semicolon was called a "half-line". Since the exclamation mark was originally required to express surprise, it was called "amazing."
The red line, in its own way, serves as a punctuation mark and has an interesting history of its origin. Not very long ago, text was typed without indentation. After typing the text in full, the icons indicating the structural parts were inscribed with paint of a different color. Free space was specially left for such signs. Forgetting once to put them in an empty space, we came to the conclusion that the text with indents reads very well. This is how paragraphs and a red line appeared.