Def: Interrobang

A combination of a question mark (also known as the “interrogative point”) and an exclamation mark (known in printer’s jargon as the “bang”). Usually used at the end of a question asked in an excited or agitated manner. Sometimes as ?! and sometimes as…

From “Martin K Spektor, 73, Creator of Interrobang”, printed in The New York Times on 16 February 1988:

The mark is said to be the typographical equivalent of a grimace or a shrug of the shoulders. It applied solely to the rhetorical, Mr. Speckter said, when a writer wished to convey incredulity.

For example, the interrobang would be used in an expression like this: ‘You call that a hat?!’

 

  • The interrobang was first conceptualised in 1962 by Martin K Spektor, the head of an advertising agency.
  • An interrobang key was available on some Remington typewriters in 1968.
  • The interrobang is currently used as the logo of the State Library of New South Wales in Australia.
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