An e-mail from the always thoughtful and thought-provoking gentleman who goes (for reasons best known to himself) by the sobriquet “dungbeetle” around these parts has reminded me of the story of “Lord” Timothy Dexter, who among his many eccentricities (you can read about them here and, in a more censorious 19th-century version, here), published a booklet called A Pickle for the Knowing Ones full of the wisdom he wished to impart from his haphazard but financially successful life:
Not only did the content of his booklet cause readers to shake their heads, so did the format. As the quotes above show, Lord Timothy’s spelling was atrocious, and he had no use for punctuation. After the first printing sold out, he amended the second edition. He inserted a page of punctuation marks at the end with the note: “Nowing ones complane of my book the fust edition had no stops I put in a Nuf here and thay may peper and solt it as they plese”
Incidentally, he is mentioned towards the end of an amusing and amazingly sensible article, “A Dissolving View of Punctuation” by Wendell Phillips Garrison, first published in the August 1906 issue of The Atlantic:
Either some light has been shed on the principles of punctuation by studying the diversity of good usage, or else my readers may envy Lord Timothy Dexter’s, who were bid to pepper and salt as they chose. This ignoramus, in bunching his points at the end of his book, intimated two truths—one, that punctuation is, to a large extent at least, a personal matter; the other that punctuation may be good without being scientific.