Re: Punctuation character (inverted interrobang) proposed

From: Alexej Kryukov (
Date: Wed Sep 07 2005 - 12:15:34 CDT

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    On Wednesday 07 September 2005 19:40, John Hudson wrote:
    > There is a reason why you so seldom see ?! or !? in books, excepting
    > some juvenile novels: most authors and copy editors know the
    > difference between a question and an exclamation and they decide
    > which is appropriate. They do not leave the status of an utterance
    > ambiguous. I have about a thousand books sitting around me, and I'd
    > be hard pressed to find ?! in any of them.

    Just FYI: I have an impression that ?! and !? are relatively often
    used in Russian. At least I could easily find several examples in
    any work of classical Russian literature where I tried to look for
    them. There is nothing strange in this fact, because the normative
    Russian grammar (as I learned it in school) distinguishes 3 types of
    sentences by type of statement (declarative, imperative, interrogative)
    and 2 types by intonation (exclamative or non exclamative). So
    the same sentence may be both interrogative and exclamative without
    any contradiction.

    In fact, I don't think this classification is specific for Russian,
    because it is found in some manuals of English language as well.

    Alexej Kryukov <akrioukov at newmail dot ru>
    Moscow State University
    Historical Faculty

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