If you’ve been on social media, written a text, read a text, or been in any way involved with communicating with others in the last couple of years, you have probably encountered the interrobang!
Can you come over?!
Can you guess what an interrobang is yet?! Let me give you a couple of hints:
1. It is not a question.
2. It is not an awesome verb you’ve been missing out on.
Now can you guess it?! If you guessed the annoying use of a question mark followed by an exclamation point, then you guessed correctly!
According to Wikipedia, you know the only place I go to for information, ever, the interrobang is punctuation used to show that a question has been asked in an “excited manner.” The interrobang can also express “excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or ask[s] a rhetorical question.”
But these awesome interrobangs aren’t just used for writers! They have an even bigger job in the world of chess, where “!?” denotes an “interesting” move, while “?!” denotes a “dubious” move. Who knew?!
So who is credited with this awesomeness? Martin K. Speckter is the man behind the mark, and he came up with it in 1962. He wasn’t a writer but an advertiser. When coming up with a name for this mark, he toyed with “rhet,” “exclorative,” and “exclamaquest.”
Seems to me there are just too many good naming options out there. Too bad the mark didn’t stick. It isn’t a standard punctuation mark, but it sure is fun to say!