- punctuation 1530s, "pointing of the psalms," from M.L. punctuationem (nom. punctuatio) "a marking with points," noun of action from pp. stem of punctuare "to mark with points or dots," from L. punctus "a prick" (see POINT (Cf. point)). Meaning "system of inserting pauses in written matter" is recorded from 1660s.[P]unctuation is cold notation; it is not frustrated speech; it is typographic code. [Robert Bringhurst, "The Elements of Typographic Style," 2004]
Etymology dictionary. 2014.