For the use of !?
in chess notation, see Chess annotation symbols.
For the Italian television series, see Interbang.
For the Caparezza album, see ?! . (album)
The interrobang (/ɪnˈtɛrəbæŋ/), also known as the interabang (‽) (often represented by ?
), is an unconventional punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark, or interrogative point; and the exclamation mark, or exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers and programmers as a "bang".
The glyph is a superimposition of these two marks.
The interrobang was first proposed in 1962 by Martin K. Speckter.
A sentence ending with an interrobang asks a question in an excited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or asks a rhetorical question.
- You call that a hat‽
- You're dying‽
- What are those‽
Writers using informal language may use several alternating question marks and exclamation marks for even more emphasis; however, this is regarded as poor style in formal writing.
Historically, writers have used multiple punctuation marks to end a sentence expressing surprise and question.
American Martin K. Speckter (1915 – February 14, 1988) conceptualized the interrobang in 1962.
He proposed the concept of a single punctuation mark in an article in the magazine TYPEtalks.
Speckter solicited possible names for the new character from readers.
Contenders included exclamaquest, QuizDing, rhet, and exclarotive, but he settled on interrobang.
Graphic treatments for the new mark were also submitted in response to the article.
In the 1970s, replacement interrobang keycaps and typefaces were available for some Smith-Corona typewriters.
The interrobang was in vogue for much of the 1960s; the word interrobang appeared in some dictionaries, and the mark was used in magazine and newspaper articles.
Most fonts do not include the interrobang, but it has not disappeared: Lucida Grande, the default font for many UI elements of legacy versions of Apple's OS X operating system, includes the interrobang, and Microsoft provides several versions of the interrobang in the Wingdings 2 character set (on the right bracket and tilde keys on US keyboard layouts), included with Microsoft Office.
A reverse and upside down interrobang (combining ¿ and ¡, Unicode character: ⸘), suitable for starting phrases in Spanish, Galician and Asturian, which use inverted question and exclamation marks, is called an "inverted interrobang" or a gnaborretni (interrobang spelled backwards), but the latter is rarely used.
In current practice, interrobang-like emphatic ambiguity in Hispanic languages is usually achieved by including both sets of punctuation marks one inside the other (¿¡De verdad!?
or ¡¿De verdad?!
Older usage, still official but not widespread, recommended mixing the punctuation marks: ¡Verdad?
Further information: Inverted question and exclamation marks § Mixtures
Entering and display
See also: Unicode input
The standard interrobang is at Unicode code point U+203D ‽ INTERROBANG.
The inverted interrobang is at Unicode code point U+2E18 ⸘ INVERTED INTERROBANG.
Single-character versions of the double-glyph versions are also available at code points U+2048 ⁈ QUESTION EXCLAMATION MARK and U+2049 ⁉ EXCLAMATION QUESTION MARK.
- reversing the order (Compose?!)
creates the inverted interrobang.
On Mac OS X, it is found on the Character Palette, obtained by pressing the key combination Ctrl+⌘ Cmd+Space.
The interrobang can be inserted in HTML with ‽.
The interrobang can be displayed in LaTeX by using the package textcomp and the command \textinterrobang.
The inverted interrobang is the command \textinterrobangdown.
Examples of use
The State Library of New South Wales, in Australia, uses an interrobang as its logo, as does the educational publishing company Pearson, which intend it to convey "the excitement and fun of learning".
Australian Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney used an interrobang in the first paragraph of his 2018 judgment in Faruqi v Latham FCA 1328 (defamation proceedings between former Federal Opposition Leader, Mark Latham, and political campaigner and writer, Osman Faruqi).
In popular culture
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrobang.