Standardization of Text Layout, Especially Punctuation
William Thomas's "Whence the Semicolon?" elegantly summarizes the basics of the evolution of one form of textual standardization that Eisenstein inexplicably missed, punctuation! In the earliest surviving European manuscripts, there was no punctuation, and no distinction between capital and miniscule letters, and no word divisions--the readers were on their own. Before basic pointing was invented (c. 9th Century), scribes laid out the text in grammatical units to indicate word groupings in "per cola et commata" writing. Think about what each innovation did for readers, and what social pressures and uses of texts might have made each innovation necessary.