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The Interrobang: What It Is (Awesome) and How to Get It On Your iPhone (Also Awesome)

What is an interrobang?

See that punctuation mark to the left there? That, my friends, is an interrobang, and an interrobang is "…a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark… and the exclamation mark…" (Wikipedia) It was invented in 1962, achieving minor popularity into the 1970s, but it never became a regular feature of the typewriter keyboard, and so we are left nearly bereft of interrobangs today. So true, so sad.

The interrobang is still the gorgeous baby of the ? and !, though, and it is perfect for saying things like:

  • What the hell
  • You're pregnant with whose baby
  • I'm supposed to do what with this chicken

I mean, one can hardly hammer out WTF‽ properly on Twitter without it.


How to Get the Interrobang On Your iPhone

ONE: If you are reading this on your iPhone, copy the following interrobang: 

TWO: Go to Settings » General » Keyboard » Shortcuts.

THREE:  Click the little "+" symbol in the upper right corner.

FOUR: Paste "‽" next to Phrase, and type "?!" next to Shortcut. Save.

FIVE: Test it out! From now on, every time you type "?!" it will default to "‽".

Is that cool or what‽

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The Interrobang On Your Desktop

There are ways to type the interrobang on computer keyboards, but the methods vary depending on your operating system and what version you have, so I just copy and paste interrobangs when I am using my desktop.


Now you know what an interrobang is, how to use one, how to create one, and you can clearly see that is an awesome piece of punctuation which has been unjustly ignored.

Go out and spread the interrobang like a social disease! Amaze your friends! What are you waiting for

Things I Am Struggling With Today, Because Neuroses

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  1. I generally cut my hair very short — I keep it about an inch long all over my head — but I don't mind growing it out up to two inches sometimes. Now I am torn between cutting it now or waiting until after I speak at Mom 2.0 Summit at the beginning of May. Do I go with super short hair, which I prefer? Or do I go with slightly less short hair, which I feel is more socially acceptable? I feel entirely too neurotic about what amounts to half an inch of difference. Maybe I should buy a wig and be done with it. Do wigs come in leopard print? Maybe I should just go all out.
  2. I have started to feel very sympathetic for pigs, and it has recently gotten in the way of my ability to appreciate bacon on occasion. Tonight, I am eating gyoza, Japanese pork dumplings, and I am pretending that they are not pork, because I love both the dumplings and the pigs. How do I know for sure if I've crossed a personal ethical/emotional boundary that I should not be crossing? Does it matter if this boundary crossing experience only amounts to one anxious person sitting alone on a couch? One thing I do know, though, is this: I doubt the pigs will respect me in the morning either way.
  3. Are you ever ageist against yourself? I sometimes am. I worry about how I am perceived by others now that I am over 40. While I noticed ageism all the time out in the offline workforce, I feel like there is less of it online, but I wonder if that is the case. Do you think this is true? Are you harder on yourself because of your age? Are you harder on others because of theirs? Does being online eradicate age barriers, at least in part?
  4. I had a dream last night in which I fell in love with a fairly masculine woman. The only problem was the bristly whiskers she grew along her lips inside her mouth. They made me think of sea urchins and fishermen when I kissed her. In the dream, I struggled with my ability to value her love over spending a lifetime pretending her mouth didn't make me think of bottom feeders. Today, I struggle with forgetting the horrible sensation of interior mouth whiskers. Blech.
  5. What is up with that mouth whiskers dream? Wait. Please, don't answer that. 
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