Today’s tip is a bit lighter in nature, as I learned something this week which I had never even heard, much less knew about. Have you ever written an email or a Skype message that was something along the lines of “What do you think you are doing?!?!?!” That series of snarky question marks and exclamation points, when combined, are often referred to as interrobangs.
According to Wikipedia…
The interrobang, also known as the interabang (‽) (often represented by ?! or !?), is a punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark, or interrogative point, and the exclamation mark, or exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers and programmers as a “bang”. The glyph is a superimposition of these two marks. A sentence ending with an interrobang asks a question in an excited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or asks a rhetorical question.
Now that you know about it, how can you use it in Skype and Office programs like Word or PowerPoint?
In Skype, the interrobang is actually an animated emoticon found in the lower right corner. In this application, it’s known as the What’s Going On emoticon, and it alternates between question mark and exclamation point:
That’s all well and good, but you can also use the symbol in programs like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. Here I have an email where I want to insert an interrobang. While in the body of my new email, I can select Insert > Symbol > More Symbols…
(Ignore the fact that the first symbol in the 20 that are displayed is the interrobang. It will show up there once you use it the first time, and then you can just select it from there.)
Not all the fonts will include the interrobang, but one that does is Calibri (the default for many Office programs). Select the subset of General Punctuation, which will get you closer to the area where you can find the interrobang. Once you see it about 3/4 of the way down, click on it and then click Insert:
(Again, ignore the Recently Used Symbols for this example. Once you use the interrobang once, it will show up in the Recently Used Symbols list and you can select it from there.)
Now you see that your interrobang symbol is in your email (I used it three times for extra snark):
So now you know, and have fun spicing up your writing a bit. 🙂