From Latin hypodiastolē, from Ancient Greek ὑποδιαστολή (hypodiastolḗ), from the combining form of Ancient Greek ὑπό- (hypó, “under, lower”) + Ancient Greek διαστολή (diastolē, “separation, distinction”), from Ancient Greek διαστέλλειν (diastéllō, “separate”), from the combining form of Ancient Greek διά (diá, “through, during”) + στέλλειν (stéllein, “order, arrange”).
hypodiastole (plural hypodiastoles)
- A mark ⟨⸒⟩ in late Classical and Byzantine Greek used as a form of interpunct to show two words should be read separately in situations where they might otherwise be confused with an identically-spelled single word.
Eventually entirely conflated with the similarly-shaped Greek comma and then made obsolete by the advent of spacing, the hypodiastole now only appears in a few cases, such as distinguishing ό,τι and ότι. In all such modern cases, the Greek comma (identical in Unicode with the Latin comma) is used. The Unicode point for the hypodiastole is solely indended for its appearance in historical texts.