The Interrobang (or: the best thing since sliced bread)

Ladies and gentlemen,

May I introduce you to the most divine, beautiful, useful, interesting, … (puts down thesaurus) piece of typography in the history of mankind: the INTERROBANG!

“The interro-whatta?” you may ask yourself. Not to worry, we all know and use it. It’s that punctuation mark at the end of a sentence that expresses excitement yet questions itself. You know, sort of like “You bought a Jaguar E-Type” or perhaps “You ate 27 burgers in one sitting”. It’s basically a tremendously beautiful symbioses between a question and exclamation mark.

Here’s what it looks like:

Interrobang in various lettertypes

Not surprisingly, it was created in the advertising sector, by a Martin K. Speckter – who ran a competition to name the thing. (Other suggestions were rhet, exclarotive, and exclamaquest). The name derives from a combination of interrogatio (Latin for a rhetorical question) and bang, which apparently is printers slang for exclamation mark.*

I have taken it as a personal mission to use the interrobang as often as possible, and (as some of you may know) have been doing so for quite a while now. I just thought it was time to share this wonderful punctuation mark with all of you and have it become more than just an uncommon piece of typography!

And because I like involving other people in my little quests – I herewith set a challenge for my readers. Give me your best use of “‽” or “!?”​, be it written, drawn, painted, or whatever the hell you want it to be! Interrobang-lovers, unite! Entries accepted by email, post, twitter, Facebook, postal pigeons, until March 22nd.

(And… another reason why I like it: it gives me the perfect opportunity to use the following statement… You have been interro-banged!)(giggle).

* Source: Wikipedia
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3 thoughts on “The Interrobang (or: the best thing since sliced bread)

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