Saturday, June 15, 2024


Well, I might have been feeling low but I have discovered something that has cheered me up no end! It's the interrobang! Have you ever written ?! at the end of a sentence and thought, "There must be a better way of expressing a question and exclamation simultaneously"?

Well there is but nobody told me about it. Not until I read a newsletter from Austin Kleon in which he mentions Keith Houston and his website Shady Characters, all about punctuation and typography. In 1962 Martin Specter, editor of Type Talks, a magazine about typography in advertising, introduced the interrobang.

Very briefly the interrobang became a thing although a very small thing. Only one typeface (Americana) included it and only a few typewriters were made with this extra symbol. Interest in it was gone. However the very first version of Unicode in 1992 included it and it is there to this day. U+203D since you're asking. 

I think I will start a campaign for the return of the interrobang!

P.S. If you're like me and don't know how to use that code this is what you do (I googled it): type 203D. Select it and hold down Alt and press X.

Proposed interrobangs from Type Talks, March-April 1962, drawn by Jack Lipton of Martin K. Speckter Associates, Inc. (Image courtesy of Penny Speckter.)



Marie Smith said...

I had no idea of these punctuational curiosities!

Anvilcloud said...

I had heard but forgotten.

Sue in Suffolk said...

That's new to me too.
I just use both! but will try and remember this?!

Ann said...

how interesting. I had no idea.

jabblog said...

Interesting! Naturally, I can't make it work, so will stick with the individual ?!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Maybe it's just me, but doesn't "Interrobang" sound a little salacious?! -- see, I needed an interrobang symbol at the end of that sentence.