The world of style and usage can feel like the Wild West.
Nouns becoming verbs and literally not meaning literally add to writers’ confusion—along with cooked-up punctuation marks such as the interrobang.
The interrobang, The Guardian reports, is a non-standard punctuation mark—?! or !?—used at the end of a sentence that asks a question in an excited manner; expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question; or asks a rhetorical question.
Here are a few examples:
Why stop with the interrobang?
In the spirit of combining punctuation marks to create something new, how about combining the period and the question mark?
You could use these marks together to express doubt about a statement:
You could also combine the period and the exclamation point, using the mix when you’re not sure how much emphasis to give your sentence:
Use of the interrobang in informal writing is nothing new. Writers use alternating question marks and exclamation points for emphasis, as in, “He said what!?!?!?”
However, the Chicago Manual of Style says that using multiple punctuation marks counts as poor style in formal writing. So, use the interrobang all you want when texting — but skip it in your chief executive’s blog posts.
What new punctuation marks would you like to see, PR Daily readers?