A short entry today, I’m afraid. I’m in the middle of responding to the copy-edited Shady Characters manuscript (you’ll be glad to hear that there are relatively few punctuation-related corrections), so things will have to be necessarily brief!
A couple of weeks ago, Rudi Seitz wrote to let me know that the Shady Characters comment form was broken. He was right; it was, but it is no longer. Please take a moment to test it out, and let me know via the Contact page if you have any problems. More interesting than my technical tribulations, however, was the rest of Rudi’s email, in which he explained:
On another note, I’ve just today undertaken my own series of experiments with the sarcasm mark, unfortunately ending in frustration:
Also, I have a proposal for distinguishing ironic questions from ironic statements by giving them separate marks:
Have I reinvented the wheel here?
As an avowed interrobang booster, I might have to lean in the direction of “yes”; I suspect that Martin K. Speckter’s mark already fills that niche. Even so, Rudi’s experiments in punctuation are a bracing reminder that the technological constraints that stymied many early attempts at creating new marks have now all but disappeared: we can design, disseminate and discuss new marks in a way unthinkable only a few decades ago. It begs the question: where are all the new marks of punctuation?
I must say thanks to Rudi for his email, and do hop over to his site for more on punctuation, music, photography, and a host of other topics.
As promised in a previous post, I got in touch with Tusk, a Newcastle band about to release a new EP entitled Interrobang, to ask about their choice of name. Tusk bassist Andy Cutts wrote back to explain:
We think it’s a underused and underrated piece of interesting punctuation and is due a comeback. We like how it asks a question with exclamation – we’d like to think the music will do similar.
So there you are! Thanks to Andy for fielding my questions.