A Point of Interest

___ What in the world is that_ That sentence precisely demonstrates the use of that little known punctuation—the “interrobang.” Introduced in the 1960’s, it is the twentieth century punctuation mark. It can convey a question in conjunction with curiosity and wonder. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “a punctuation mark designed for use especially at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question.”

 

According to the website, World Wide Words, Martin Speckter, head of a New York advertising agency, Martin K Speckter Associates, invented the interrobang in 1962. “For decades, advertising copywriters had used both marks together to imply various blends of question and exclamation. The combination might indicate a rhetorical question allied with an exclamation, or a shout of wonder and curiosity. It might also mark that mixture of incredulity and dismay which any parent may produce at stressful moments: “You did what­_

 

Although the interrobang doesn’t appear on a standard keyboard, the website mks.com provides information on how to access it in Microsoft Word’s Fonts. “Go to Format; choose Fonts, then Wingdings 2. You’ll find 4 different versions of the interrobang. Hit the ` ~ key, the ] } key, the 6 ^ key, or the - _ key.”

 

Wow, wasn’t that EASY­_

 

 

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