In researching the history of the interrobang I’ve been lucky enough to have corresponded with Penny Speckter, Martin K. Speckter’s widow and an ardent supporter of the mark of punctuation he created. After publishing The Interrobang, part 1, she got in touch to let me know that Martin in fact did not lobby for the inclusion of the interrobang in Richard Isbell’s Americana typeface (as mentioned in the newspaper article I cited to that effect1) but that instead it came about purely by chance. I’m happy to set the record straight here for Mrs Speckter — her support has been invaluable and is typical of the generosity and enthusiasm of many of the people I’ve been in contact with over the course of putting together this material.
Commenters here on Shady Characters have also helped a great deal by ferreting out mistakes both large and small. One inaccuracy I think is worth mentioning here is my use of the term ‘religion of the Book’ in The Pilcrow, part 2 to refer to Christianity — I hadn’t appreciated that this could apply equally to a number of other religions, and the way I’ve used it here is a little misleading. Thanks to Theodore for pointing this out!
I don’t plan to update the articles themselves just yet (getting each new article ready for publication inevitably occupies all my attention), but I’ve made changes to the offending posts, and I hope that this note goes some way to mitigating these errors. Again, thank you for all the interest in Shady Characters and look out for The Interrobang, part 2 next weekend!
- “Interrobang (!?) Expresses Modern Life’s Incredibility”, Publishers’ Auxiliary, September–1968. ↢