24 September 2010


It's National Punctuation Day, and I'd like to take the opportunity to tell you about my favorite bit of punctuation, the interrobang. It is, in the simplest way, a combination of the exclamation point and question mark.

From Wikipedia:

American Martin K. Speckter invented the interrobang in 1962. As the head of an advertising agency, Speckter believed that advertisements would look better if copywriters conveyed surprised rhetorical questions using a single mark.

I am not a terribly efficient guy in many ways, but I like the idea of simple changes to shave off wasted seconds. Have you ever been angry at someone online, chatting on an instant messenger or in an email or on Facebook, and tried to express your incredulousness? "How can you be so stupid?!" Well, imagine cutting literally a whole 4% from the time you take to type! If you use the interrobang (and have already programmed into your keyboard a universal hotkey for it) then you've saved that time! And every time you want to express both shock/excitement and a questioning tone, that's another fraction of a second you've saved!

How can you let yourself waste that time‽

I have done some calculations, and if you express excitement and a question just once a day then over the course of your life you can save a whole fourteen minutes! You've extended your life by fourteen minutes you otherwise would have lost forever.

Immortality, you're within our grasp.


  1. Where can I get the universal hotkey for this?! I can totally feel my life being wasted as we speak.

  2. I am not a wizard, so I don't actually know how to do that. I have been cutting and pasting. At absolutely all times and on absolutely every computer I use, I keep a document open with nothing in it but thirty-nine "‽"s.