I’d like to think that I know about every punctuation mark (in the English language at least) out there. But lo and behold, I discovered this week that there are quite a few I had no clue existed.
The Question Comma
The question comma, or quoma, is likely exactly what you’re thinking. It is a question mark with a comma underneath it instead of its usual period.
The quoma allows you to add a question to the first half of your sentence without coming to a full stop.
I believe Cole Sprouse’s tweet sums up the best way to work a quoma into existing quotes.
- “Ex: What am I to you (quoma) chopped liver?”
The Exclamation Comma
Not to be confused with the quoma, although the rumor is that the same people invented both in 1992, the exclamation comma adds exclamation to part of a sentence and allows the rest of the sentence to remain, for lack of a better word, neutral.
- “I just got engaged (exclamation comma) we still have to pick our date.”
Personally I think the quoma and the exclamation comma are both ridiculous; you can just as easily use a semicolon, but you have to admit they’re pretty interesting.
The interrobang (‽) is one of the only punctuation hybrids that is available as a symbol in Microsoft Word.
Pretty self-explanatory, the interrobang combines a question mark and an exclamation point into one.
- “What do you mean you lost your engagement ring‽”
The Snark Mark and the SarcMark
The Snark Mark and the SarcMark denote snark (snide remarks) and sarcasm, respectively. The Snark Mark is the only one of the punctuation marks I’ve discussed that you can actually type, regardless of your computer or OS. It is a period followed by a tilde. It looks like this: .~
- “I’m so proud of you for learning how to use a semicolon.~
The inventor of the SarcMark, Paul Sak, actually got a copyright and a trademark for the symbol. This one could work well for me because many people in my life have told me I don’t understand sarcasm, especially over text message.
It is easy to get the SarcMark on your website if you run WordPress by installing Paul’s free plugin, or add it to your Microsoft products with his small add-on file.
What do you think of these punctuation marks and hybrids? Ridiculous or useful?
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