When, in the year 400, Saint Jerome gave instructions for punctuating the Latin translation of the Bible that he had just completed, he spoke of divisions ‘per cola et commata’. ‘Commata’ is the plural of ‘comma’, and if the ‘cola’ or colons were the sections of Jerome...

3. The Colon

In the transition from classical manuscripts to monkish scriptures, a sign began to appear at the end of sections – an ivy leaf in the margin. The leaf was beside (‘para’ in Greek) the writing (‘grafos’ in Greek). That paragraph sign was an aid to the reade...

October 25, 2017

Welcome to the first of our monthly posts on debating tips and techniques.


So you’ve been assigned your place on the table, and you’re in First Proposition. Some debaters will think, ‘why me?’ –...

October 17, 2017

There’s huge excitement in the ESU Scotland office as we prepare for the St Andrew’s Day Debating Competition 2017!

The St Andrew’s Day Debating Tournament, held annually at The Scottish Parliament for the past ten years, pairs school pupils and university students to c...

2. The Semicolon

Celebrating the Semicolon and Commemorating Aldus Manutius

Aldus Manutius is a man with a claim to being the world’s greatest punctuator. Arguably, his most notable contribution to punctuation is the semicolon. He died just over five hundred years ago (i...

October 3, 2017

We were delighted that some of our Speakers' Corner Challenge finalists were invited to speak at the Patrick Geddes Learning Festival at the shiny new Patrick Geddes Centre. The event was kindly organised by PAS (Planning Aid Scotland) and speakers included academics,...

It is September, the beginning of the school and academic year. That makes it appropriate for ESU-Scotland and the English Project to introduce a new series of

September 12, 2017

It’s been a busy summer at the ESU as we get ready for the 2017-18 session.  We hope this year will be an exciting one, as we partner with new sponsors and develop bigger and better projects!

In August, we opened entries to our Schools’ Mace competition. The Schools’ Ma...

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