Interrobang!?

I always knew it wasn’t proper punctuation to use both a question mark and an exclamation mark when writing out a shocked question.

However, I use it frequently. Because I love to. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things.

Why this has anything to do with anything is because I learned there is actually a punctuational (?) equivalent to the old “!?” or “?!” expression (actually not old, pretty new). It’s called “interrobang.”

And yes, Grammar Girl did teach me this.

I enjoy listening to podcasts when I drive alone and right now I’m back on a Grammar Girl kick. Before this was Stuff You Should Know (does that kick ever really go away?) and before that I was listening to Under the Influence and Internet Marketing for Smart People.

Anyway, so the podcast was from about a year ago and was about punctuating questions. I didn’t really care for the podcast but I listened anyway and boy am I glad I did. At the very end she added the whole interrobang thing as an aside as she was wrapping up. I was so intrigued I looked up the episode when I got home so I could learn the html codes and use them ALWAYS on the blog‽

Neat, hey‽

Here they are for your coding pleasure.

Interrobang Codes

  • ‽  Unicode decimal value
  • ‽  Unicode hexidecimal value

Wikipedia says this word can also be spelled (and I guess pronounced) “interabang.” Both of which are not in my computer dictionary.

Of course this is a nonstandard punctuation mark, which also means it’s not to be used outside informal writing.

Also in my surfing (just kidding…no one surfs anymore) I also stumbled upon another interesting and extremely awesome nonstandard punctuation mark—the irony mark. No joke.

Apparently in the 19th century this was proposed as the next level of communication so people would understand when someone was being ironic or sarcastic. Now wouldn’t that have been useful to learn in an email etiquette course‽

Unfortunately I can’t get it to work but it’s a backwards question mark. Now, isn’t that ironic? (except backwards)

My Beef With Bullet Points

Top Five

Don’t get me wrong, if you know anything about this blog, you know I love a good list.

However, I’ve noticed a trend in the blogging world. Bloggers are straying from ye olde paragraph (or even complete sentence) in favour of…bullet points.

I complained about this on Twitter once, to which I received an immediate response from a blogger simply saying (I don’t know the tone but I’m going to go with a bit defensive) it’s because no one reads blogs anymore. They scan.

Fair enough. I scan most blogs, it’s true. However. If it’s excellent writing, I stick around and read. So please for the love of God write complete sentences. And paragraphs.

Actually, though, lists are an excellent tool and knowing how to use them properly is a great skill. But this little blogging trend to use bullets instead of paragraphs is not actually utilizing the list function of said bullet points. It’s merely demonstrating laziness.

For, what I’m noticing is rambling points, which could have easily been turned into paragraphs but weren’t cause, you know, “I’m busy.”

We’re all busy.

Unless you’re writing a list, write your paragraphs and don’t shortchange your readers.

And if you want a quick rundown on how to format a list properly, go to Grammar Girl. She’s the best.