A wood table with a typewriter, book, notebook, and pinecone on top of it.

WR  TE OR WRONG

 The Diary of a Word Nerd

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  • Grace Kidder

Playful Punctuation: The Interrobang

How many times have you texted someone and ended a sentence with ?! or !? to excitedly ask a question? Did you know there is actually a single punctuation mark for that‽ It's called an "interrobang," and it is defined by Merriam-Webster as "a punctuation mark designed for use especially at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question."

According to M-W, the term gets its name from the two punctuation marks it combines. "Interro" comes from "interrogation point" (the fancy term for a question mark), and "bang" is printer's slang for an exclamation point. The other cool thing about the interrobang is that it's relatively new! Unlike most punctuation marks that have been around for a long time, the interrobang was created in the 1960s.


Unfortunately, since standard keyboards don't have an interrobang on them, this fun little punctuation mark isn't used very often. But it's still worth knowing!