InterrobangThe interrobang is an English-language punctuation mark that combines the functions of a question mark and an exclamation point. The typographical character resembles those marks superimposed over one another. It is not a standard punctuation mark -- not many modern typefaces or fonts include an interrobang among the available characters.
Some of these may display as an interrobang in your browser: ‽ ‽ ‽
A sentence that ends in an interrobang asks a question in an excited manner (or expresses excitement in the form of a question). For example:
- Those shoes cost how much‽
- How many cookies did you eat‽
- You're going out with Marika‽
Speckter asked readers to submit possible names for the new character. Contenders included 'rhet', 'exclarotive', and 'exclamaquest', but Speckter settled on 'interrobang'. He chose the name to reference the punctuation marks that inspired it. 'Interro' is Latin for 'question' or 'query'; 'bang' is printer's slang for 'exclamation point'. Graphic designs for the new mark were also submitted in response to the article.
In 1966, Richard Isbell of American Type Founders issued Americana, a typeface that included the interrobang as one of the characters. In 1968, an interrobang key was available on some Remington typewriters. The word 'interrobang' started to appear in dictionaries, and the new punctuation mark was the subject of several news articles in magazines and newspapers.
Although the interrobang was in vogue for much of the 1960s, it never caught on and became a standard punctuation mark. But it has not faded away completely -- some typefaces still feature an interrobang character, and it is included in the Unicode character set. It also featured on the front page of the book Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody.
Microsoft provide several versions of the interrobang character as part of the Wingdings 2 character set available with Microsoft Office. It is also present in fonts Lucida Sans Unicode and Arial Unicode MS, while most others don't include it.
The interrobang has the 0x203D Unicode.