InterroBANG!Submitted by Aimee Morgan on Tue, 04/19/2016 - 3:09pm
Sometimes a question mark or an exclamation point is just not enough. There are far too many times where I’ve found myself writing and come across a sentence that needs an extra punch of emotion that I just can't get from words alone.
“She’s pregnant!” or “She’s pregnant?”
An exclamation point alone doesn’t convey the proper emotion I need to satisfy my portrayal of shock, and neither does a question mark. The exclamation point just shows excitement and the question mark is a little too blasé. I need a questioning exclamation, an exclamation of questioning. But using “!?” isn’t quite MLA format. What else is there?
Yes, there is this beautiful piece of punctuation that delivers all that shock and awe you need to pump up your story. This nonstandard punctuation mark is the brainchild of Martin K. Speckter, head of an advertising agency in the 1960s. Derived from the combination of the Latin word interrogatio, meaning a rhetorical question and bang, printers’ slang for the exclamation mark, Speckter insisted it would look much cleaner if two marks were combined into one.
His suggestion of combining the question mark with the exclamation mark into the lovely interrobang was rather popular throughout the 1960s, appearing in magazines and even some dictionaries, but faded from the sweet grasp of popularity by the 1970s.
Well, I say that the interrobang needs to return to the pages of publications. It has pizazz, charm, and versatility! It’s the perfect combination, like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and milk, pizza and beer, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka!
Fad revival is the new thing nowadays (I’ve been rocking the free spirit, fringe-tastic, hippie vibe lately and you should see me looking fine in those bell-bottom jeans and peasant blouses), so I say we bring this baby to the 21st century!