I had the pleasure, recently, of writing another article for BBC Culture. It’s called “Punctuation that failed to make its mark” and it’s a sort of Shady Characters greatest hits, a compilation of a few of my favourite marks that tried valiantly but unsuccessfully to achieve widespread acceptance. There’s Martin K. Speckter’s evergreen interrobang, or ‘‽’, intended to punctuate an excited or rhetorical question; Bas Jacob’s clever but ill-fated ironiteken, or irony mark, as shown above; and the excellent quasiquote (
″), or paraphrasing mark, first sent in to Shady Characters back in 2014 by the late Ned Brooks.
Like the first article, it was fun to write; also like the first article, it was often more difficult to choose what to take out rather than what to leave in. Have a read and, as ever, let me know what you think of it!
Update: the article is now available in Spanish at La Nacion.