There are many typographic marks which are familiar to most, but understood by few. Most of these glyphs have interesting histories and evolutions as they survived the beatings given to them through rushed handwriting of scribes and misuses through history. They now mostly live on our keyboards and in our software, and a few are used often, so it seems only fitting to know where they come from and how to correctly use them. The Pilcrow History of the Pilcrow As with many elements of language today, it all started with Latin. While the pilcrow has evolved to resemble a backwards P, this is nothing more than incidental. In its early forms, the pilcrow was a C, a shorthand used for the Latin word capitulum, meaning chapter, mostly in a religious sense, which may be why it isn't uncommon to see it in use in Biblical texts today. Replacing another symbol, the paragraphos, to become the new mark representing a paraph---a new line of thought or break in text---it evolved over time through the natural development of handwriting. Initially starting as the C, a slash was drawn through it, perhaps to make it more noticeable, then a second slash was added, and through time the C went from being the vertical centre of the lines, to the top of them. All this ended in what is often now seen as a P backwards. The evolution of the Pilcrow Using the Pilcrow Initially the pilcrow was used to separate blocks of text, rather than dividing them with space. While this is, of course, now the normal thing to do, it isn't impossible to find modern text that do the same as what was originally intended, mostly in an effort to insert a little bit of flare or maybe to serve as a throwback to typesetting that may be seen as a little more classical. An example that is often cited is Eric Gill's An Essay On Typography. It is also used by proofreaders to denote a paragraph that should be split, and also as a mark used to reference a specific paragraph is legal documents (an example is included in the Section Sign below). While graphic designers, and especially those outside the field, would have no major need to think about using the pilcrow, it is worth noting that they can be a pleasure to design for our typographic friends.