Sometimes a simple simple comma or period isn’t good enough. Maybe you just wrote something brilliantly snarky, but you’re concerned that people will miss the subtleties of your sarcasm. Or perhaps you want to ask a rhetorical question, but you don’t want people to mistake it for a more mundane interrogative. With the current system, you don’t have much of a choice. Just slap a period or question mark at the end and pray that people are paying attention. Our punctuation options seem remarkably limited.
I suppose the day may come when these functions will be filled by the ever-growing universe of emoticons, and we’ll sprinkle our writings with smiling, winking, and smirking little faces. That terrifying future probably isn’t too far off.
Or we could adopt some of these handy little punctuation marks. I’ve commented before on the fabulous percontation point, which lets you signal that rhetorical question, and the much-needed exclamation comma, for those times when you get really excited in the middle of a sentence. But here are some other punctuation possibilities.
This would replace the ungainly ?! that people use for those really excited questions like “You don’t like zombies?!” A single punctuation mark would be so much more elegant.
For those times when you want to make it clear that you’re really sure about this one. I can see how this would be helpful. But, since I’m pretty sure that I’m right about everything, I’d need to be careful not to overuse it.
I have to start using this one. Unlike the others, which require special characters, this one is just a period followed by a tilde. And sometimes it would be great to mark the snark.
And no list would be complete without some way of identifying sarcasm. And it’s just great that they made it impossible to type on a regular keyboard.
If you’re in the market for even more new punctuation, check out “13 Little-Known Punctuation Marks We Should Be Using.”