Communications experts often preach the importance of face-to-face interaction.
When you hear a person’s voice and see his facial expressions and gestures, you get a clearer understanding of his message.
What if there were punctuation marks that translated those physical cues and vocal fluctuations for you? You know, like a punctuation mark to denote sarcasm, irony or how much you love your reader.
If that sounds intriguing, check out this infographic from Mental Floss; it reveals 13 little-known punctuation marks that you’re probably going to want to start using.
Some marks are from long ago (one was proposed in 1580), and some have present-day proponents (interrobang, anyone?!). Regardless of when they came to be, there’s a good chance you’ll want to start using them.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Interrobang: Use this hybrid question mark and exclamation point to express excitement or disbelief. For example: “You’ve never heard of the interrobang?!”
Love point: French Author Hervé Bazin proposed this punctuation mark in 1966. It’s essentially an early version of a <3 or heart emoji, but there’s something charming about the name “love point.”
SarcMark: This one is for the sarcasm lovers. If you’re writing something snarky, use this punctuation mark to point it out.
Snark mark: Similar to the SarcMark, this symbol denotes that the reader should interpret a sentence beyond its literal meaning.
Which little-known punctuation mark is your favorite? Are there others you wish existed?
This article first ran on Ragan.com in Oct. 2015.
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