Friday BONUS Silliness: The Interrobang (Vocabulary Poem)

Looks like The New Yorker’s “Questioningly” column is celebrating National Punctuation Week (Nov 24th) with a contest: create a new piece of punctuation by combining two existing ones, a la the famous interrobang.

Well, let me tell you, Questioningly: I already did this, several times, in a poem I posted on my old blog and repost here. Here it is, as part of a series of poems based on words in the dictionary. I give you “Interrobang.”


Again, here’s the actual, non-PDF’ed text so folks can search for it: 

*INTERROBANG.  A punctuation mark that is a combination question mark and exclamation point.


Hooray for the interrobang,

Invented by our nation!

But shouldn’t there be greater choice

In hybrid punctuation?

I hereby offer several more

For your consideration:


Let’s start with the ellipsiquest (.?.)

How could we do without it?

It finishes a sentence where

You find you start to doubt it

And worry more you did it wrong

The more you think about it.


Or how about the asterdash (*)

Which registers the spot

Where you were going to add a point

But suddenly forgot?

(I’m older now and find I use

The asterdash a lot.)


The hemidemisemicolon’s

What you use to tell

Your readers that a speaker


Or mark a pause within a verse :

To make it scan                             ; well.


These are just a few of mine,

So please give them a chance!

Use them in your mash notes

Or your next request for grants.

They’ll really make your work stand out—

Your sentences will dance!

(I know what you’re about to say—

You’re welcome in advance.)


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