Sentence punctuation to indicate slowed speech rate

On Language Log, Geoffrey K. Pullum invites readers to send in the earliest citation of the use of periods to indicate slow, intense speech. On page 28 of Robert Harris’s novel Archangel (Hutchinson, London, 1998, hardback edition), a character who was tortured for a long time to get information out of him says with pride, “Not a word, boy. You listening? They did not get. One. Single. Word.” That’s the…

Phoenix Makes a Grand Entrance

From NASA: NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander can be seen parachuting down to Mars, in this image captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. This is the first time that a spacecraft has imaged the final descent of another spacecraft onto a planetary body. From a distance of about 310 kilometers (193 miles) above the surface of the Red Planet, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter…