On Non-Standard Punctuation

In my quest for new and ever-more-interesting ways to communicate, I have discovered non-standard punctuation.

We all know periods and commas. I am particularly fond of the semi-colon, and I make fair use of dashes. (Dashes are the “house style” at work. I am not, actually, a fan of the dash. I find it… sloppy.) And question marks and exclamation points.

But what about the interrobang

The interrobang was made, obviously, for the sixth Doctor’s dialogue. “Carrot juice? Carrot juice‽ Carrot juice!” Look at how natural that looks. It has the proper sixth Doctor-esque cadence. It’s not a question, it’s not an exclamation, it falls somewhere in-between.

And then, the irony mark! Also called the “snark.” Which, in this case, is definitely not a boojum, you see.

Yes, there is a piece of punctuation specifically for sarcasm, irony, and the rhetorical question. The irony mark.

Which I would, naturally, never ever want to use؟ Because, really, I’m not sarcastic. No, not at all؟

Punctuation. Signposts on the highways and byways of language. Learn it. Use it. Confuse with it. 😉

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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