Re: Punctuation character (inverted interrobang) proposed

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Tue Sep 06 2005 - 01:46:52 CDT

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    On 9/5/2005 2:18 PM, John Hudson wrote:

    > But having encoded the daffy interrobang, Unicode should certainly
    > encode the inverted version. Not for Asturian, but for American
    > advertisers targeting speakers of the de facto second official
    > language of the USA. If even one of them sought to foist the world's
    > only non-grammatical punctuation mark on English speakers, one can be
    > sure that another will want to inflict it on Latino consumers.

    I agree with the underlying 'let's not make a silly situation sillier'
    part of John's argument. However, while I agree that making the
    interrobang an ordinary punctuation mark, by providing its inverted
    twin, I always thought the main reason for doing so would be so that
    texts like the following could be accurately translated into Spanish:

    > "To talk about the soul of higher education, therefore, is
    > paradoxical, because wemust acknowledge that for some colleagues the
    > concept of soul has no meaning. And how paradoxical can it be to
    > acknowledge that the argument over the existence or nonexistence of
    > soul is a part ofthe soul or essence of collegiate community‽ (The
    > rarely employed interrobang is certainly an appropriate punctuation
    > here.)"

    Note, this would have been a really useful example, if the authors had
    in fact typeset this with ‽, but they used !?

    PS: quote of the week:

    "Only thing is, we need to agree on all the nitpicky stuff, too. I mean,
    debates over the interrobang alone could cause chaos (for the record,
    I'm of the camp that believes we should have one amalgamated interrobang

    and the quote of the month:

    "Alas! Its happened. Weve[sic] declared war on the apostrophe. I wont
    even use any here. Whatll[sic] be the next target of our wrath?

    The interrobang?!

    Or perhaps the ellipsis...

    Actually, they should get rid of that upside down question mark in
    Spanish. Put it at the front or the end of the sentence, but pick one.

    'nuff said
    To talk about
    the soul of higher education, therefore, is paradoxical, because we
    must acknowledge that for some colleagues the concept of soul has
    no meaning. And how paradoxical can it be to acknowledge that
    the argument over the existence or nonexistence of soul is a part of
    the soul or essence of collegiate community!? (The rarely employed
    *interrobang* is certainly an appropriate punctuation here.)
    Writing in his thoughtful and informing /Change /article “Saving
    Higher Education’s Soul,” Frank Newman (2000) offers this note
    and query:
    With growing emphasis on revenue streams, introduc-
    tion of for-profit activities, large-scale corporate spon-
    sorship of research, high presidential salaries, and other
    trappings of the corporate world, there is new danger
    that the public and its political leaders will review higher
    education as just another interest or industry devoid of
    attributes that raise its interests above those of the mar-
    ketplace throng. . . . It is, therefore, critical to ask what is
    the soul of higher education that needs to be saved?
    [p. 17]
    Newman’s article distinguishes three “soul” dimensions, as he
    points to the civic mission of higher education, accents the social
    mobility responsibility of higher education, and highlights higher
    education as a home for disinterested scholarship.
    *The Uniting Force of Curiosity and Wonder*
    With all this complexity in mission and motive, what provides the
    uniting force for the special and distinguishing character of com-
    munity in American higher education? We have advanced some an-
    swers to this question. The community of higher education is a
    McDonald.chap1 3/10/02 4:34 PM Page 18
    *Page 19*

    forum of fact and faith, where some truths reside in the numbers
    and some in the mist, but the search for truth is a uniting aspira-
    tion. It is a lively and often contentious argument over the nature
    of truth. It is a museum of ideas once fresh and energizing but now
    quaint and outmoded. It is the home of our hope, where scholars
    labor to solve those problems that rob men and women of their dig-
    nity, their promise, and their joy. It is conservator of the record of
    our nobility and our barbarism. It is the theater of our artistic im-
    pulses. It is a forum where dissent over purpose and performance
    may be seen as evidence that higher education is meeting its re-
    sponsibility for asking what is true, what is good, and what is beau-
    tiful. It is a place where all in the community—students, faculty,
    staff—are called to ask what brings meaning to their lives and
    makes them glad to be alive. It is, above all, a community in which
    we celebrate the humanizing force of our curiosity and wonder, a
    place for dreamers of day.
    Bellah, R. N., Madsen, R., Sullivan, W. M., Swidler, A., Tipton, S. M.
    /Habits of the heart. /Berkeley: University of California Press.
    Bolman, L., & Deal, T. (1995). /Leading with soul. /San Francisco:
    Boorstin, D. (1983). /The discoverers. /New York: Random House.
    Boyer, E. (1987). /College: The undergraduate experience. /New York: Harper-
    Collins, 1987.
    Boyer, E. (1990). /Campus life: In search of community. /San Francisco: The
    Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
    Crick, F. (1994). /The astonishing hypothesis: The scientific search for
    the soul. /New
    York: Scribner.
    Etzioni, A. (1993). /The spirit of community. /New York: Crown, 1993.
    Fincher, C. (2001). /100 classic books about higher education.
    /Bloomington, IN:
    Phi Delta Kappa.
    Frankl, V. (1959). /Man’s search for meaning. /Boston: Beacon Press.
    Gardner, J. (1990). /On leadership. /New York: Free Press.
    Gibran, K. (1969). /The prophet. /New York: Knopf.
    Gibran, K. (1973). /Sand and foam. /New York: Knopf.
    Gilkey, L. (1966). /Shantung compound. /New York: Harper & Row.
    An Agenda of Common Caring
    McDonald.chap1 3/10/02 4:34 PM Page 19
    *Page 20*

    Kennedy, D. (1997). /Academic duty. /Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
    Kuh, G. (1991). Snapshots of campus community. /Educational Record, 72/(1),
    Marsden, G. (1994). /The soul of the American university. /New York:
    Oxford Uni-
    versity Press.
    Miller, J. (1994). The continuing search for community in higher education.
    /Vital Speeches, /Feb. 14, 334–336.
    Moore, T. (1994). /Soul mates. /New York: Harper Perennial.
    Newman, F. (2000). Saving higher education’s soul. /Change, /Sept.-Oct.,
    Postman, N. (1996). /The end of education. /New York: Vintage Books.
    Rand, A. (1943). /The fountainhead. /New York: Bobbs-Merrill.
    Sagan, C. (1996). /The demon haunted world. /New York: Ballentine.
    Schlesinger, A., Jr. (1992). /The disuniting of America. /New York: W.
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    Storr, A. (1988). /Solitude. /New York: Free Press.
    Tompkins, J. (1992). The way we live now. /Change, /Nov.-Dec., 13–19.
    Tutu, D. (1999). /No future without forgiveness. /New York: Doubleday.
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