Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Irony mark (؟) (French: point d’ironie).

"This mark was proposed by the French poet Alcanter de Brahm at the end of the 19th century. It was in turn taken by Hervé Bazin in his book Plumons l’oiseau (1966), in which the author proposes several other innovative punctuation marks, such as the doubt (), certainty (), acclamation (), authority (), indignation () and love () marks."

So much better than smilies. See also: Sarcasm mark. "Although a sarcasm mark exists in the Ethiopic languages it is not a standard form of punctuation in English."


Gabriel Pollard said...

And some of those 'innovative' punctuation marks we use today, just slightly changed.

Ben Yates said...

I don't think variants of Bazin's marks are in use -- they were created in '66 (which, incidentally, is just shy of May 1968 -- something in the French air). The only modern punctuation I know about that sees occasional use (apart from smilies -- and I suppose LOL is basically punctuation at this point) is the interrobang.

Ben Yates said...

(The interrobang also dates to the '60s, interestingly enough.)

Dan said...

I think it just shows that the modern-day smilies / emoticons are merely the latest in a long series of attempts to create punctuation symbols to reflect emotional states.