Tag Archives: Grammar is a Hussy

Have You Ever Wanted To Interrobang?

Interrobang big

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, I learned about a new punctuation mark: the interrobang. Sounds naughty doesn’t it. Sure you can Google it, if you’d like. But you don’t have to, silly. That’s why I’m here.

Actually, the interrobang is a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the “interrogative point”) and the exclamation mark or exclamation point (known in printers’ jargon as the “bang”).

When a sentence asks a question in an excited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or asks a rhetorical question.people layer two different punctuation marks one after the other.

For example: “Can you believe how awesomely delicious this piece of chocolate cyber-cake tastes?!”

See the “?” followed directly by the “!”

That’s the interrobang!

Some people even layer them on top of each other!

According to Wikipedia:

In 1966, Richard Isbell of American Type Founders issued the Americana typeface and included the interrobang as one of the characters, and in 1968, an interrobang key was available on some Remington typewriters.

That said, the interrobang failed to amount to much. It has not become recognized as a standard punctuation mark; although, it has not disappeared completely: Microsoft actually provides several versions of the interrobang character with Microsoft Office.

I don’t usually get into hardcore kinky punctuation, but I have to admit, I definitely enjoyed learning about it and I plan to use it. Not excessively. Just once in a while.

If you really want to lord a little insignificant piece of trivia over your English teacher this year, interrobang her. See what happens.

So go ahead, give me your best sentence using mixed punctuation. Interrobang me; you know you want to.

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