Monday, April 16, 2012

A long-lost hugely useful speech mark

You know how it is when you write something that’s both amazing and baffling. There you are, bashing out an email and the only thing you can do to express surprise and wonder is to slap in a string of exclamation and question marks at the end.
You’d think there’d be one mark that says it all – and there is, the interrobang. It was invented, I’m amazed to report, a whole 40 years ago by an American advertising executive called Martin Speckter, but for some reason, the interrobang’s never taken off. It's an elegant combo of two different devices that’s just perfect to slap after all manner of sentences, such as ‘He did what?!’ or “She wrote off your mother’s new car?!”
There should be an interrobang on every keyboard if you ask me. In fact there is one in your Microsoft Office suite of fonts, but only your average geek is likely to find it there, more’s the pity. (Look in Wingdings2 if you're wondering.)

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