Talk:Interrobang

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Former good article nominee Interrobang was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
September 7, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
WikiProject Typography (Rated B-class, Low-importance)
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Image[edit]

Could use an image. I'm not clear on the best way to add one. Scarequotes 05:07, Sep 19, 2003 (UTC)

Has been done, apparently, but are many other similar entries for non-standard characters that could use similar. Like many, I often see only the no-character box. If there are instructions somewhere in Wikipedia for adjusting your browser to display these characters correctly, a link could be prominently featured. ozNoz 23:58, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

vBulletin[edit]

I removed this paragraph:

To use it with vBulletin boards, include [font=lucida sans unicode] stuff here [/font] around the unicode, and you will see the interrobang in all its typographic glory.:

vBulletin doesn't seem important enough to deserve mention in an unrelated article to me; the comment really has more to do with Unicode than the Interrobang; not everyone has that font installed; better browsers will use a font that has a needed character automatically, making the font decleration useless; and "typographic glory" doesn't seem formal enough for an encyclopedia article to me. Eurleif 22:31, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Universality[edit]

This page has text on it that only applies to reading Wikipedia in a web browser. Rhobite 02:05, Sep 22, 2004 (UTC)

Interbang[edit]

There used to be a TV show called Interbang which featured the interrobang (or interbang as it was called) as a central part of the plot. The only internet reference I can find is here, cached on Google. Does anyone have any information on it? --Gabriel Beecham/Kwekubo 29 June 2005 20:36 (UTC)

Unicode entity for gnaborretni[edit]

A reverse and upside down interrobang (combining ¿ and ¡), suitable for starting phrases in Spanish, is called by some a gnaborretni (interrobang backwards).

Is there a Unicode entity for gnaborretni yet? Couldn't find one. --Abdull 12:12, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

No. Michael Everson has a proposal up, though. --Prosfilaes 21:48, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
And it's got some really heated replies on the Unicode list. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to enter Unicode; although if you actually use it, you might want to email Everson or the Unicode list with some actual evidence that someone has ever used it.--Prosfilaes 21:37, 8 October 2005 (UTC)
Well, it's being encoded. Feel free not to use it, though. Evertype 21:55, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
It's upside down as well as backwards, so shouldn't it be a bueqojjatui‽Junulo

gnaborretni redirects here[edit]

why should gnaborretni redirect here? it is different, and should deserve its own page. that is like redirecting an inverted exclamation point to the regular exclamation point page ([!]) (unsigned post by User:Taint3dmem0riez6)

Because it doesn't exist. The exclamation point and the inverted exclamation point are actually in use, in the formal grammars of major languages. The interrobang is not entirely unheard of, but use is very rare, and many authorities would discourage any use at all. If a reference book omitted the interrobang in its list of punctuation, it would raise few eyebrows, and certainly not mine. Now, given that, why is a hypothetical inverted version of that minor punctuation mark worth its own article? What are we going to say, that "it's a hypothetical inverted form of interrobang that's been proposed for Unicode"? That's a little short for an article.--Prosfilaes 15:01, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

How common is this‽[edit]

I haven't seen the interrobang character ever actually used in general writing. The article makes it seem like a common mark (despite the single mention of "nonstandard").

I don't get that impression from the article. Just one sentence says "The interrobang failed to amount to more than a fad, however, never becoming a standard punctuation mark. Although most fonts don't include the interrobang, it has not disappeared:" --Prosfilaes 22:19, 26 November 2005 (UTC)
What is "standard" English, anyway? --Nulbyte 04:12, 8 August 2006 (UTC)
Hell, I'm going to start using this symbol in my everyday writing. It's a very good idea, as I often have to use the "?!" characters in literary devices. Coolgamer (talk) 22:46, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I asked my mom about this, she said she remembers seeing it a lot in documents written with a typewriter because it was simple enough to hit the backspace key and punch another symbol. But, as the article says, it fell out of fashion, so I imagine that's why we never see it any more.PecoPeco (talk) 23:05, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm a 57 year old university graduate Brit, and I'd never heard of one of these until I came here. Maybe it is/was an American thing. --Ef80 (talk) 18:55, 15 December 2012 (UTC)

Real-world examples[edit]

I added a headline from Obscurestore.com that used the question mark-exclamation point combination. I think it would be good to include a couple more real-world examples like that.

It would be especially good to scan in a comic book panel and an advertisement that include multiple punctuation marks. And a real-world use of an interrobang would also be good. I'll keep my eye out for all of these, but if anyone can find any, please add them. -- Scarequotes 05:38, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Here's something even better: it's used on page 251 of a 1921 print of Friedrich Huch's Enzio — predating the interrobang's 'invention' in 1962! (found via a a comment on Language Log) --81.206.99.122 (talk) 15:55, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
It's also there in a Google Books scan of the same book's fourth edition. The interrobang is clearly a little different to the regular question mark, and it's used in exclamations whereas non-rhetorical questions use the question mark. (It's on page 281, not 251, by the way.) --81.206.99.122 (talk) 16:05, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Grammar![edit]

As a student of grammar and a self-professed grammar nazi, I would really like to see a comment in this article that explains that the interrobang and its ancestors (!?!?!?!?!!!???) are considered grammatically incorrect. Grammarians consider the use of more than one question mark or exclamation point to be entirely unnecessary and that the practice is only resorted to by sloppy writers who are unable to imply extreme surprise or disbelief with context. I realize that this may seem like bias on my part, but if you read any good text about grammar, you will find that the use of multiple question/exclamation marks is strongly discouraged. This article seems to imply that just because the interrobang exists, it should be used. Perhaps someone who does not feel so strongly about this could edit the article. Grammar nazi 04:39, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

The article does mention that multiple punctuation remarkes are primarily used in informal writing, and mentions that the interrobang has never caught on as a standard punctuation mark. Neither of these statements is incorrect. I don't see anything in here about what should or shouldn't be used. It certainly doesn't advocate for using multiple marks or the interrobang -- at least I don't read it that way. If you have cites within grammar or style guides on multiple punctuation marks, they'd be great inclusions. (Has a grammar or style text addressed the interrobang itself? I wouldn't think so, just because the mark is so rare.) -- Scarequotes 05:11, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
Is considered ungrammatical by whom? To be prescriptionist is not NPOV, and from a descriptionist perspective, simply stating that it is very rare is a condemnation just as strong.--Prosfilaes 06:00, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I'd be surprised to see a grammar textbook spend much time discussing punctuation. Not only is it not a grammar issue, but punctuation generally isn't something linguists of any variety care about all that much. Also, even if there are actual grammarians who have claimed that using multiple exclamation points or question marks is unproductive in English, that doesn't really apply to the use of an interrobang, which is clearly a single punctuation mark. Factitious 07:46, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I suspect we aren't talking about a linguist's textbook, but rather one of the books that tells people about all the correct English usage that we should use because someone decreed it incorrect.--Prosfilaes 07:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

All right, perhaps I am being prescriptionist. However, I would like to point out that proper use of punctuation is indeed a grammar issue. Or, would you, not consider: this to be improper grammar. And yes, there is a difference between grammar and linguistics; that doesn't mean that good grammar is invalid or in any way less important. Just like standardized spelling, grammar helps us to communicate with one another. It goes far beyond some nit-picking individual telling people what's right and what's wrong. Grammar nazi 19:18, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I really would be interested in seeing cites on multiple punctuation marks -- and especially on the interrobang -- from some reputable English grammar or style guides. That would be factual and interesting content. I don't think the article should be rewritten from a prescriptivist (or overtly descriptivist) perspective, but new content would be cool. -- Scarequotes 19:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
"Or, would you, not consider: this to be improper grammar." No, I wouldn't consider that to be improper grammar. I would consider it to be improper punctuation. If you had written "Or woulld you not konsider this too be impropor grammer," I would consider it to be improper spelling, but still grammatically fine. Improper grammar would be something like "Or would you not considers this improper grammar to be?" I apologize about being a bit nit-picky here, but this is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. It bothers me when "ungrammatical" is misused as a catch-all term for any sort of error in writing. Factitious 02:24, 5 January 2006 (UTC)
The interrobang is a single punctuation mark, and the only way to make it "proper" English is to use it! -Junulo 23:17, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

It seems like it would be considered bad style rather than bad grammar. Bad grammar would express something in a confused (but perhaps linguistically OK) way, but bad style wouldn't be confused, but otherwise sloppy. Grammar nazi I don't think is wrong that its unnecessary, but the bigger problem is its not a really nicely readable to the eye. Its a messy mashup of the exclamation and quotation mark, and in some typefaces its not even obvious that it isn't just a quotation mark. Even where it is obvious, its not very elegant. It looks like typographical error more than anything, and in the end, not meaningfully different from an exclamation mark following a question mark. Its a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. No wonder it was a fad. Brianshapiro

Example sentences[edit]

I agree that there are enough hypothetical example sentences. Does anyone have any real-world examples of the interrobang in action that we could use instead, or in addition? Those would be better, I think. -- Scarequotes 19:30, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Speaking of real-world examples could another be used instead of "What the....?! Man gets off on watching women vomit (headline from Obscurestore.com)"? I don't think that elementary students looking up this obscure grammar topic need to be asking 'what does man gets off mean?'. thanks

It would be wrong to take out this example BECAUSE you are concerned with elementary students seeing the "man gets off".In fact, by doing so you would be including your ideology and beliefs on the article, just like if you wrote on the text "by the way, elementary students shouldn't read that "man gets off". This subject, I mean, the discussion about if a headline saying this should be seen by an elementary student, has nothing to do with this article.A.Z. 21:23, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Problem solved by finding another example with no prurient interest, that serves the same function. -- nae'blis (talk) 19:45, 9 May 2006 (UTC)

I kind of liked some of those example sentences that have been removed. There's no reason why they can't be a little funny. Crude, no. Funny, yes. -Jim R Selleck June 13 2006

This list is part of my pet peeve about Wikipedia; every random person who comes along seems to change and worse yet, add to that list. I kill all new additions just to keep it from taking over the article.--Prosfilaes 04:18, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
As the guy who originally came up with those example sentences, my apologies to you. I'd really prefer to see real-world examples, but I've never actually come across an interrobang in the wild. -- Scarequotes 23:29, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored A.Z. 22:50, 15 June 2006 (UTC)

Nobody's censoring anything. There’s no need to use an example that might be considered inappropriate by some (i.e., most); it would be preferable to use an example that will generate less controversy. Cup o’ Java (talkedits) 22:12, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

"interrogatio is Latin for 'a rhetorical question' or 'cross-examination'; bang is printers' slang for 'exclamation point'."

Are you kidding? Why are we delving into Latin when the word is obviously a combination of "interrogation point" and "bang"? Am I missing something? Battlekow 20:08, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why there's anything wrong with talking about the Latin root of the word: it seems that "interrogation" comes from Latin. Neilc 05:21, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Quesclamation mark[edit]

I removed the following text from the article:

A modern alternative to the interrobang is the Quesclamation mark, invented by Jeremy Stubbs in 2003. A variation on the theme of a rhetorical question mark, it has a dedicated symbol as opposed to combination of 2 existing punctuation symbols. The application of the Quesclamation mark aligns to that of the interrobang.

On the grounds that: (1) a Google search for "Quesclamation mark" yields only 6 hits, none of which confirm the article's claim of invention by "Jeremy Stubbs". None of the links actually describe what a queslamation mark is, or how it would be typeset. (2) The content itself does not cite sources, and is incoherent to boot (e.g. the last sentence). If someone knows more about Quesclamation mark, let me know. Neilc 05:27, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

!? or ?![edit]

it might seem trivial, but i was wondering if there's any study "out there" that has research on whether more people use "!?" or "?!". --Pandora Xero 07:08, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

I have believed that ?! marks a question said loudly and with exclamation, while !? marks a shout said with only a bit of question. The difference is very slight. - Kevin (TALK) Flag of the United States.svg 22:18, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I think that "!?" looks a lot cleaner; there appears to be less of a kern between the two characters.--JD79 22:06, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
I always thought it was "?!", because "!" can mean "factorial". So if someone types "What is 5!?", You answer "120", but if they as k "What is 5?!", you know they just really need to know what the number 5 is. -Junulo 23:14, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
That, my friend, is the stuff webcomics are made of. Brilliant. Oliverbeatson.talk.cont 02:10, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
I have always used "?!". I personally think it is harder to read "!?", especially in smaller fonts. I don't think there is any gramatical difference though. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cjdkoh (talkcontribs) 23:49, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
That's weird, because I've seen '!?' used way more than '?!', and it's what I always use myself. In fact, I even recall one computer's Microsoft Word dictionary seemed to correct me when I typed '?!' and replaced it with '!?'. Eebster the Great (talk) 04:01, 11 May 2008 (UTC)

Fonts[edit]

I understand why the fonts section was cut down, but leaving the only named font being Fixed was a little Unix-centric. I went to a set of fonts that should be moderately well-distributed and should all have the Interrobang in there. Note that Code2000 is freely distributed.--Prosfilaes 12:48, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll leave it the way it is. For the record, Default font, Fixed, Arial, Code 2000 and Unicode are identical on my computer. Only Image and Palatino look different. Tocharianne 16:38, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Some thoughts about the article[edit]

  1. I want to merge Martin K. Speckter here. His only claim to fame is inventing this and everything in that article is duplicated here.
  2. I removed "In the book To Kill a Mockingbird the interrobang is used.[citation needed]". If someone can verify it, go ahead and add it back.
  3. Can we verify the San Francisco Examiner example? Their website doesn't have an archives. I found one reference to the article title but it doesn't include the "What the ?!" part.
  4. Are we sure that interrobang comes from Latin interro or interrogatio and not just interrogation point? One of the external links says it comes from interrogation point and another says Latin for query. The former seems more likely to me.
  5. Can someone who's read Eats, shoots and leaves clarify how the interrobang "featured as a future hit with the current 'send' society"? I have no idea what this means.

Tocharianne 18:19, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

At least one reader opposes merger of Martin K. Speckter here.[edit]

The interrobang was not Mr. Speckter's only claim to fame. He was a published author (Disquisition on the Composing Stick) and was the editor of Type Talks, a historically significant typography and advertising magazine. His merits are not limited to the invention of the interrobang, alone. Please do not make less of him by merging.

Typing[edit]

How does one type an Interrobang? …Ē•L•!•Z•Ā… Spell it out! 03:29, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

&#8253: Change the : to a ; —Preceding unsigned comment added by Novjunulo (talkcontribs) 10:50, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, what the‽ It sadly displays too small in this font. Coolgamer (talk) 19:42, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

From my experience, the default sans-serif font in most browsers deals with the messiness of combination by flattening the question mark, which is ugly because the question mark forms the definition of the interrobang; other fonts truncate the exclamation mark, which is less prominent and results in less awkwardness (e.g., Lucida Grande: ). Cup o’ Java (talkedits) 22:25, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

Image[edit]

The page used to have an image of the interrobang followed by the punctuation template; this has been changed recently so that the punctuation template itself displays the interrobang character. In my opinion, it's preferrable to have an actual image, as the interrobang in the punctuation template won't show up in some browsers. Any objections to reverting this? Aiwendil42 02:49, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I prefer the previous graphic. Go back to it. — Val42 18:03, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

GA Review Completed[edit]

Hello,

I've now completed my Good Article Review and at this time I have made the decision to not promote this article to GA Status as I believe it meets the Quick-Fail guidelines.

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    a (fair representation): b (all significant views):
  5. It is stable.
  6. It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b lack of images (does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  7. Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:

A large majority of this article lacks references, and judging from the talk page, there is a dispute about some of the content in the article. Check out WP:CITE and WP:Verifiability for more information.

If you feel this review is in error, please take it to a good article review. Thanks, Pursey Talk | Contribs 16:32, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Non-standard?[edit]

Article says:

The interrobang is not a standard punctuation mark.

But surely, anything encoded in Unicode is ipso facto standard? I mean, the interrobang forms part of ISO 10646, one of the most widely implemented ISO standards in the world. Is it not therefore standard, albeit rarely used in practice, as opposed to non-standard? --SJK (talk) 01:35, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Popular Culture[edit]

I've restored the George Hrab reference. Note this review of his music in Skeptical Inquirer, a notable magazine:

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-94044243.html

Mindme (talk) 19:17, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

As this appears to be nothing more than the trivial re-use of the word for the name of an album title, by a musician who apparently doesn't have an article, it is insufficiently notable to warrant its inclusion - especially when the provided reference does not even contain the word "interrobang", at least in the no-registration-required URL provided. Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 21:33, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
A fair point, thumper. I'll remove the ref. Thanks for the comment. Mindme (talk) 12:45, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

The interrobang is used as the mark on Barry Trotters forehead. [[1]]

Cuil Theory[edit]

Would it be appropriate to include something about "Cuil theory", which uses the interrobang to represent a quanta of cuil? http://cuiltheory.wikidot.com/what-is-cuil-theory Newsfan08 (talk) 23:06, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

I vote yes - In my experience, "Cuil theory" has been responsible for my only encounters with actual use of the interrobang symbol. --Kdfsjlfaskjlkjladfs (talk) 01:10, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I vote no - it doesn't seem remotely notable. Quaeler (talk) 23:47, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I vote yes - Nobody will probably care, but the only reason I got to this page was to look up Cuil Theory (more information can be found here: [2]): a pop culture reference for which the symbol is used more often than in any other context on the internet. 76.173.193.118 (talk) 04:39, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

the {{U+}} template messed up[edit]

I removed the {{}} in

{{U+}}203D

because it was messing up the display, it was beign rendered as U+xxxx203D ("U+xxxx203D"), since I don't know how to make the template work, or even if that is the place to use templates, I've just converted it to plain text and am leaving this note here for anyone that wants to work on this further. --TiagoTiago (talk) 02:02, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Is there an Alt+ code for this?[edit]

Such as Alt key + 168 = ¿

ALT+8253 fails on Windows 7[edit]

In Windows 7, pressing the said combination gets (me) nothing else but the equals sign "=". Is the proper combination known? -- 91.11.185.6 (talk) 17:10, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm getting the same on Windows XP. 75.118.170.35 (talk) 13:36, 7 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the ALT+numbers key combinations are Unicode-based anyway -- more likely some obscure Microsoft codepage that depends on system locale. What works is the standard Unicode hex input method: hold ALT pressed and type +203D (that "+" is the plus sign on the numeric keypad). This doesn't work in many programs though, because (ALT +) or (ALT D) are often shortcuts for something else. What I do is hit (Win R) to open an execute prompt, type the Unicode combination there and copypaste the character into the program where I need it.--92.78.109.75 (talk) 17:46, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
This input method says the Alt-method requires hexadecimal value, not decimal (that is, the U+-value).
825310 (the decimal value of Interrobang) is read by Windows as 825316, and produces (a CJK unified ideograph, possibly not available in your Windows font).
So to produce the Interrobang, this would need Alt+20D3. Does that work?
If I am right, we should change the text.
The resulting "="-sign might have to do with "=" is hex "D3", so Windows might have trouble with the starting "20" in "20D3". Would be a Windows-bug we cannot solve here. -DePiep (talk) 18:13, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Wait, I went into the Windows Horror House, and (in Office Word 2010 atop XP) Alt+8253 produced interrobang correctly. What is going on? -DePiep (talk) 18:21, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
You could get entirely different results, between another program in Windows, and Office running in Windows. 20D3 doesn't work in Windows 7 (outside of Office) - it produces a heart shape. In Word, it produces an odd looking hollow-T shape, that I will attempt to paste; ╦.
8253 does just gets you the equals sign, regardless of the plus sign - I don't think think the plus sign is recognized as part of the code, because it doesn't change the results of the heart shaped alt code. The only place I can find the interrobang, in the base of Windows 7, is in the Character Map - under Wingdings 2, character codes 0x5D, 0x5E, 0x5F and 0x60 are all interrobangs with slight differences to the curves and thickness of the lines. There no longer appears to be a shortcut method to accessing any of those items, on the character map. 173.23.238.6 (talk) 09:45, 18 November 2013 (UTC)

Inverted interrobang and broken {{unichar}} template[edit]

Resolved: the hex number cannot have "U+" as prefix (yet?)

for some reason the following {{unichar|U+2E18|inverted interrobang|note=decimal 11800, HTML <code>&#11800;</code>}} renders as U+2018 ‘ inverted interrobang (decimal 11800, HTML ⸘) instead of U+2E18 ‘ inverted interrobang (decimal 11800, HTML ⸘)

Where to fix that? 93.232.147.114 (talk) 10:52, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

A sharp find! I'll take a look at it. Might be the reading of "e" wrongly exponantional, as in "2 10^18". -DePiep (talk) 12:41, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Solved, nothing with 10exp18 (which was solved last Saturday ;-)). Input prefix "U+" does not work correctly. Left a note at the {{unichar}} template /do. -DePiep (talk) 12:53, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Not invented in 1962[edit]

Interrobangs were used in typesetting half a century before. This is an example from a German book I have, "Enzio" by Friedrich Huch, first edition 1911 (cf Google books, the first result). signs appear throughout the book and are clearly visually distinct from ?, ! and a mere superimposition of those. It is a separate character. Mr Speckter might have coined the word, but he didn't invent the glyph or its usage.--92.78.109.75 (talk) 17:30, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Broken Link in Reference 4: ^ a b Haley, Allan. [http://www.fonthaus.com/xheight/interrobang.cfm[edit]

The link yields:

OOPS: Page Not Found! The file you were looking for was not found. Our site went through a redesign in late 2009, so the file you tried to access might be an old link or an outdated page.

I tried to edit it out but am too unskilled so apologies in advance for probably not obeying protocol. Tennisjazz (talk) 00:39, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Proper terms: superimposition or perhaps Ligature?[edit]

In typography combined characters are called ligatures. Interrobang should be called, in my opinion as a ligature rather than referring it as a superimposed character. -- User:murrur