Re: Punctuation character (inverted interrobang) proposed

From: John D. Burger (
Date: Mon Sep 05 2005 - 19:55:49 CDT

  • Next message: Patrick Andries: "Re: Punctuation character (inverted interrobang) proposed"

    John Hudson wrote:

    > Peter, the whole point of the exclamation mark is precisely to
    > distinguish an exclamation from an identically worded question: 'How
    > nice!' vs 'How nice?' That *is* the grammatical function: to make
    > clear the distinction between a question and an exclamation, because
    > they are two different things.

    Uh, I use a bang for lots more than those troublesome ambiguities
    (which are how common, exactly?). Just because an exclamation mark
    does serve to so disambiguate, I would hardly say that that's its
    "whole point".

    An exclamation mark is for exclamations, a question mark is for
    questions. Hence the names. Some utterances are arguably both. A
    canonical example might be:


    I disagree entirely that interrobang is for utterances which are
    either, but not both, as you said earlier.

    None of which is to say that interrobang isn't a bit silly, and
    inverted interrobang is even sillier. Let's encode INVERTED FULL STOP
    while we're at it. (Please don't tell me if the latter is already in
    Unicode - I don't want to know.)

    - John D. Burger

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