The Spectacle Blog

Out with a Bang

By on 5.1.13 | 3:56PM

A quandary exists in the writing world wherein a sentence arrives that is equal parts interrogative and exclamatory. What to do?! I have been a life-long advocate of legitimizing the question mark/exclamation point combo, but it turns out someone else already did one better.

Enter…“the Interrobang!” also known as “the Interabang.” This nifty little diplomat of a punctuation point intends, according to Wiki, “to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the 'interrogative point') and the exclamation mark or exclamation point (known in printers’ and programmers' jargon as the 'bang'). The glyph is a superimposition of these two marks.”

Apparently, advertising agent Martin K. Speckter came up with the concept of the interrobang in 1962, believing that advertisements would look better if copywriters conveyed surprised rhetorical questions using a single mark.

Why use multiple marks to end a sentence when one will do? The interrobang, “never standard, but still available,” can be "hand-written with a single stroke plus the dot," or typed by holding down the Alt button and typing the numbers 8-2-5-3.

The interrobang even has its own website. What’s not to love‽

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