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Friday, June 28, 2013

Interrobang Inspirations

I've long been amused by the interrobang, the unorthodox punctuation styled !? or ?!. The interrobang is used to express a combination of shock and inquiry - for example, "They made a sequel to Baby Geniuses!?"

It's made me wonder if we shouldn't start using some other handy marks. I've come up with a few:

The Extraclamation Point: !!
When one exclamation mark isn't enough to express the vehemence of your sentence, why not add another? "Editors will hate this!!"

The XXXclamation Point: !!! 
Triple the effectiveness of your sentence by adding yet a third exclamation point. Your readers will have no doubt that this sentence is made to be shrieked! "I stapled my hand to the door!!!"

The Ellipsibang: ...! 
Sometimes it takes a moment for the shock of a sentence to set in - you need time for that pregnant pause to deliver your novel or memo's most shocking yet subtle moment. "I think I just locked myself in the safe...!"

The Ellipsinterro: ...?
Some questions are almost too terrible to ask, and so you may need sentences that offer inquiries so gentle they're almost passive aggressive. "Do you think my editor will let this one slip by...?" 

The Slashbang: /!\
The slashbang is used when the villain in any piece of writing makes a declarative statement likely to give the hero the one piece of information he or she needs to foil the villain's plot. "Before I kill you, North Dakota Smith, it may interest you to know that *I was behind the plot to murder the Duchess of Stallisfair and, furthermore, I've poisoned this year's supply of royal wine/!\"

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