Wednesday, March 31, 2010


The interrobang is a punctuation symbol. It's nothing sensational, or even all that useful really. It's a combination exclamation point and question mark. It does exactly what putting them side-by-side would do: show shocked questioning; a single symbol to do two jobs. Okay, in other words, vaguely, marginally, theoretically useful. Like, for example, in the following sentence:

"They called it an 'interrobang'‽"

As far as silly names for symbols go, this beats the clumsy 'octothorpe' (#), which really has only that pretentious silent 'e' going for it. This awesome word, however, is a portmonteau of, as far as I can tell, 'interrogation', which means 'question', and 'bang', which is an onomatopoeic noise that might well be punctuated with an exclamation point. No matter, it's just a great word that would also be an awesome band name. If I have a son, I just might name him 'interrobang'.
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