interrobang was our Word of the Day on 09/26/2012. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Most punctuation marks have been around for centuries, but not the interrobang: it's a product of the 1960s. The mark gets its name from the punctuation that it is intended to combine. Interro is from "interrogation point," the technical name for the question mark, and bang is printers' slang for the exclamation point. The interrobang is not commonly used-its absence from standard keyboards can explain its paucity in print perhaps just as well as its paucity in print can explain its absence from standard keyboards. Most writers who want to communicate what the interrobang communicates continue to do as they did before the advent of the mark, throwing in !? or ?! as they feel so moved.
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