Quick Grammar Tip: The Interrobang

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What is it?

I’m sure you’re wondering, “What the heck is an interrobang?!”

  • An interrobang is an imprecise punctuation mark used to express disbelief or ask a question in an excited manner.
    • This is an interrobang: ‽
      • If you don’t have a fancy keyboard (or don’t want to copy and paste), you can do this: ?!

This is a real thing–I promise!

 

How to use it

  • As the definition indicates, use the interrobang either to express disbelief, or ask a question in an excited manner.
  • Don’t use it too frequently. It lessons the impact.
  • Don’t use the interrobang multiple times at the end of a sentence. (i.e. ?!?!?!)
    • This is considered poor style in formal writing.
  • Consider your audience before using the interrobang. Although it works well for informal writing, it’s not the best option when writing a formal paper or a business proposal.
  • The question mark is commonly written before the exclamation point, but there is no universal rule about this.

 

Ask me your grammar questions in the comments below!

6 thoughts on “Quick Grammar Tip: The Interrobang

  1. WOW I didn’t even know I was a interrobanger?!
    Although I’m not sure if I’ve always used it properly…

    Learn somethin’ new every day, Thanks Amy!!*~

    :)

    1. I did break out a somewhat obscure grammar rule here! I’m a grammar nerd and I don’t always use the interrobang properly in casual writing. But it can be useful nonetheless.

      Thanks for checking out my blog Joanie! It’s good to see you on here. I’m looking forward to checking your blog out too (tomorrow sometime… I’m pretty sure if I read it now I won’t get any sleep :-) )

  2. Thank you so much! God, I was always wondering if I was allowed to use that when I wrote…I suppose I should interrobang away, now, eh? (Here is me controlling fits of uncontrollable giggles. Wow, its amazing how much I love that word. Interrobang…Interrobang…interrobang…)

  3. I had no idea that ‘?!’ could actually be encapsulated in one punctuation mark. That’s interesting! I myself am quite the grammar nerd (majored in linguistics in college :D) so I really like learning stuff like this.

    Also, even if there’s no convention for which comes first, it really bothers me when people put the exclamation point before the question mark. It makes it sound really strange in my head. Thoughts on this?

    1. A fellow grammar nerd! I actually came up with the idea for a blog post, then looked it up. I did some copy editing so it annoys me when I don’t know something.

      You’re right, it does read strange when you write the exclamation point first. I think the question mark belongs first because you’re asking a question–the exclamation point is merely adding a different element to it.

      (Sorry it took me so long to get back to you on this!)

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