Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Chief, Interrobang's Back in Town

Me again. I haven't worn out this whole punctuation thing yet, so I thought I'd continue with the interrobang. Nope, it's not a super-secret spy agency. It's that mutated, double-jointed bit of punctuation that combines the exclamation point (or mark) with the question mark (but not a question point). It looks like this: !?, but smashed together. Perfect for comic book expressions!?

A fellow named Martin K. Speckter came up with this little critter in 1962. Ideally, it should look like one punctuation mark, and I've looked up a handful of references on how to type the little rascal, but I still get !?

It's great for situations when you're writing and want to expression shocked disbelief, as in "How the hell did the car get up there!?" or "You voted for who!?"

There are a whole batch of other lost or forgotten punctuation marks that I think we should pull back out and start using again. Especially considering that we have some punctuation marks that we just don't know what to do with. And the rules. So many !%?!$# rules. See, there's a good use of punctuation marks. Some are necessary. Others, well...

The semicolon. Sounds like a medical procedure and feels like one when you're trying to figure out how to use the thing. Someone got the bright idea of putting a period on top of a comma. What, they couldn't make up their minds? "Okay, the comma part, that tells us to slow down, pause a little, and the period, well, we sorta stop, but we don't really."


In grammarese, it separates two independent clauses (two sentences), but also shows their interconnectedness, how they're related to each other. I say toss the semicolon out and throw a couple of dashes in there, like this--see how easy that was?

Okay, I've abused enough words for this post. Tune in next time when I'll discuss the asterism and how to get treated for it.

And in case you need some more unusual punctuation marks, check out this post: http://writefromthegitgo.blogspot.com/2016/03/did-anyone-really-expect-me-to-find.html

Keep writing, friends.

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