Have you ever heard of an interrobang? It’s when a question mark and an exclamation mark are put together. Weird, right?
How I even found out about the 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 a lot. 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 word for it, interrobang. A punctuational (?) equivalent to the old “!?” or “?!” expression (actually not old, pretty new), if you will.
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 episode wasn’t about the interrobang per se but then at the very end she added it in as an aside. 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‽
Here they are for your coding pleasure.
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).