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WikiProject Typography (Rated Start-class, Low-importance)
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"Contemporary use - English teachers" and some loose mixed discussions[edit]

Maybe something for the 'Contemporary use' section? I've often seen English teachers use a pilcrow while grading papers, to tell the student they should have started a new paragraph. I couldn't find anything on google to support this though.


At various points (well, 2, at the time of writing :-/) this article refers to the form of ¶ as though it were outside the discussion of variations due to typeface. Surely this is somewhat dubious, since that HTML entity will have to be drawn using whatever typeface the browser is configured to use, and so could theoretically look like anything! I can think of twothree ways round this:

  1. Upload a picture showing a particularly typical pilcrow - or perhaps a nice selection of them, nicely presented.
  2. Remove the references to "normally looking like this", and stick with the descriptions.
  3. My least favourite option, but a possibility, would be to use HTML markup to (attempt to) force display of parts of the text in a particular font, and say something ugly like "if you are viewing this on a computer with Arial installed, you should see a fairly typical pilcrow here" - OK, it needn't sound that bad, I just don't like the idea enough on technical grounds to spend any effort here.

I'm actually warming to the idea of 1, if anyone can find a nice selection of fonts to take a screenshot of some nice anti-aliased pilcrows in... IMSoP 22:31, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I have added a picture of a nice pilcrow in Gentium. There may be copyright issues with other fonts...—[[User:MikeX|MikeX (Talk)]] 10:26, Nov 13, 2004 (UTC)

The following was inline in the article, but I couldn't work out how to refactor all of it in a very encyclopedic way. I've tried, but I'm not sure whether I've made much improvement, so I'll dump the original form here, in case someone else - or my future self - wants to have a go: - IMSoP 23:02, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Additional Etymology: (q.v. )

"According to Parkes's Pause and Effect: An Introduction to the History of Punctuation in the West ... the pilcrow is a symbol for 'paraph' (which can also be marked by a double-slash, or a full-height cent-like sign), and it started as a 'C', for capitulum.
"BTW, Parkes also says that the pilcrow replaced the 'paragraphus' (which was marked in various ways, including a section symbol)."


Why are we calling this article ‘Pilcrow’? The term is (according to the OED) archaic, and pretty obscure too. Why not just have it under Paragraph sign? Widsith 08:59, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Pilcrow is the proper name for the character or glyph, whereas "Paragraph sign" is a description of its function. However, you do have a point that the section "Paragraph signs in foreign languages" isn't really dealing with the Pilcrow character. --kidbritish 00:19, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Use of double pilcrow to indicate multiple paragraphs[edit]

I'm not confident enough to add this to the page, but is the pilcrow not used in a duplicated form (¶¶) to indicate a multiple number of paragraphs, in the same way the Section sign is? The article does not seem to mention this. Jameshfisher 12:06, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Modern Use[edit]

"In legal writing, it is used whenever one must cite a specific paragraph within pleadings, law review articles, statutes, or other legal documents and materials." This is a regional thing: is it US-specific? I do not believe it is a universal requirement throughout the English-speaking world: it is archaic in Australia AFAIK for example Rick Jelliffe — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

MS Word[edit]

We can mention that annoying feature on MS word that causes stuff to look like this:


Where - is a bullet point like dot.-

--Editor510 (talk) 17:07, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

ASCII 20 == "¶" too[edit]

alt-20 under WinXP produces "¶", on my screen it looks exactly like u00B6 "¶", and according to the ASCII table on the help of QBasic ASCII 20 is the pilcrow --TiagoTiago (talk) 22:30, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Use in quotes[edit]

In my experience, the pilcrow can also be used to denote paragraph breaks where space is a premium, like quotation marks or magazines (I believe I've seen them in Wired). Perhaps this should be added? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:10, 9 August 2009 (UTC)


Is the "crow" part of pilcrow pronounced as if to rhyme with grow, or to rhyme with how? Thanks, Invertzoo (talk) 17:57, 23 December 2009 (UTC) gives the former. Why did you think it was pronounced differently? --Cybercobra (talk) 11:49, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

alinea - off the line?[edit]

> alinea (Latin: a lineā, "off the line")

The german version of this article says "aus dem Lateinischen a linea ‚auf der Linie‘." - "on the line".

Which one is correct? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:58, 4 January 2012 (UTC) Knowing Latin, "off the line". Not knowing German, Google translate makes "auf der Linie" into "on the line" but makes "off the line" back into "auf der Linie". So I'd stick with "off the line".--Richardson mcphillips (talk) 16:59, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

Paragraph number[edit]

Convention states that the pilcrow sign followed by a number indicates the paragraph number from the top of the page.

What happens when a page break is in the middle of a paragraph? On the second page, is paragraph number one the paragraph that continues from the previous page, or is it the first paragraph to begin on this page?Ed Avis (talk) 14:43, 8 February 2012 (UTC)