I have big news for all you English language enthusiasts out there: It’s called the Interrobang. Do you know how exciting this grammatical innovation is?!

Probably not, because I did not even know about this amazingly resourceful punctuation mark until my grammar class today (and by-the-way, can I confess here and now my sublime love for my English grammar class here and now?! Ok, I will! I love my English Grammar class. Never before have I been surrounded by a sea of students who care deeply about the function of an participial phrase. Furthermore, I have never had a professor, an intelligent bad-A grammarian, instruct me to break every preconceived English rule I’d ever adhered to in my life. I love this class!).

Anyways, the interrobang. In this aforementioned grammar class, the eager pool of students, bum cheeks barely clinging to the front of our chairs we were so enthralled with the occupation of an adverbial clause, enthusiastically asked questions about how far we could push the English language to express ourselves. Then one inspired student asked perhaps the most important grammatical question that has ever been asked.

“So, Professor Ostenson, if we can break all these punctuation rules for the sake of expression, what about those who want to use both an exclamation point and a question mark?”

It was then we learned about this useful device. You guessed it. The interrobang.

This device was invented for the sole purpose of solving the grammatical quandary about whether or not it was acceptable to conclude a sentence with two punctuation marks. Those “?! nay-sayers” fear no more. This little tool should send the English-loving blogger community into an bed-wetting/ blogging frenzy. Finally English language enthusiasts have invented a tool so functional that excitement and curiosity can be expressed with just one symbol!

Readers, we have an exciting future ahead of us. A future that will include an interrobang button on our laptop keyboards. A future where Microsoft Word doesn’t underline our “?!”‘s in squiggly green. A future that snidely side-steps you grammar nazis and says that expression is more important than your grammatical correctness.

Before I conclude, allow me two parting thoughts: First, I would like to issue a formal thanks to whoever came up with the term “interrobang.” I, too, think of grammar as something that might bang. The only more appropriate term I could invent for this new punctuation mark is perhaps the “interrosmash,” but that doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as smoothly, so well done “Interrobangers.”

Secondly, I want to leave you with this enigmatic question:

What comes first, the question mark or the exclamation point?

“Depends on which one is stronger, the question or the exclamation.”–Jon Ostenson.

  1. Feb 05, 2010

    Wow! I'm intrigued. How do I use this Interrobang?

  2. Feb 05, 2010


    And now I am dizzy!

  3. Feb 05, 2010

    This brought me WAY too much happiness. And pretty much describes class to a 't'.
    Interrobang is the best invention ever.

  4. Feb 08, 2010

    I, too am gyrating, nay quivering with joy at the Hall-girlness of this post.