What is the Interrobang? A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever come across a punctuation mark that looks like a combination of a question mark and an exclamation mark? This unique symbol is known as an interrobang (or interabang). It is essentially a question mark superimposed on an exclamation mark and is used to express surprise, disbelief, or excitement. The name comes from the Latin interrogatio, which roughly translates to question or inquiry, and from the English bang, a slang word for exclamation mark. The interrobang was first devised by Martin K. Speckter, an advertising executive from New York, in 1962. He wrote an article about his frustration with editors who combined exclamation marks and question marks to finish a rhetorical question.

Unfortunately, enthusiasm for this punctuation mark was short-lived and it ceased to be used in the early 1970s. Interrobang is a useful punctuation mark that can help you express your emotions more accurately. It can be used to emphasize questions or to express disbelief or surprise. For example, you can use it to ask “What?!” or “How could you?!”. It can also be used to express excitement or enthusiasm, such as “You won?!”.Interrobang is not as widely used as other punctuation marks, but it can be a great way to add emphasis to your writing.

So the next time you want to express surprise or disbelief, don't forget about the interrobang!.

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