Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Did Anyone Really Expect Me to Find a Punctus Percontativus?

 
The rarely seen punctus percontativus

And I didn't expect to find one, anyway. At least not on these modern keyboards. Pity.
Rhetorically speaking (or asking?), the punctus percontativus just isn't anywhere to be found nowadays. And it should be. Originating in the 1500s and 1600s, it's a backwards question mark, used for rhetorical questions. Wouldn't that be just the perfect thing to put at the end of, oh, I don't know...this sentence?

Interesting note--Google Images calls the punctus percontativus an irony mark. I like that. Could have a new Batman villain--The Ironicler. Or maybe The Rhetoricler.

Similar to Mr. Punctus is the current-day snark mark. Yep, there really is one. As writers, we've always loved irony, sarcasm, and outright snarkiness. Over the decades, many of us have invented, warped, and morphed standard punctuation marks, but the one that's sorta prevalent today is a period followed by a tilde (~), so it would look like this: .~ I could use it in an exchange such as this:

I'm so glad I invested in this coastal property.~ It's so lovely during hurricane season.

See what I mean? Perfect for sarcasm.

I'm glad I wrote this piece on weird punctuation marks.~ Spellcheck just loved it.

Keep writing, friends. 

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