1
   

Which one is correct, "!?" or "?!"?

 
 
ShinyaT
 
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2017 10:54 pm
Maybe it's a bit silly question for native speakers of English, but I have to know one thing.
In English, which is correct (or which is common), "!?" or "?!"?
For example, if you write some English novel, which will you choose "What the hell is this!?" or "What the hell is this?!"?
I really have to know this, but there was no answer on the internet.
 
View best answer, chosen by ShinyaT
roger
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2017 11:16 pm
@ShinyaT,
the "!?" is definitely less common, but used as in your example is fine. Don't overuse it.

It's called an 'interrobang', and there are plenty of internet sites giving definitions and examples. You might search for it.
ShinyaT
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2017 11:37 pm
@roger,
Thank you for your advise, Roger.
I searched about 'interrobang', and now I understand what it is.
As you wrote, it looks like I should basically use "?!".
Thank you. You helped me a lot.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2017 11:43 pm
@ShinyaT,
You're welcome. By the way, I have never been able to remember which mark was supposed to come first, and really don't worry about it.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 03:21 am
In formal writing, question or exclamation marks are used alone. In informal writing, you can choose the order.
ShinyaT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Nov, 2017 06:10 am
@centrox,
Thank you for your advice, centrox.
It means, there is no strict rule about interrobang, right? I understand.
I wanted to know about informal writing like novels or comics.
0 Replies
 
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Aug, 2018 02:55 pm
@centrox,
Quote:
In formal writing, question or exclamation marks are used alone.


And yet, here is the Economist explaining about the interrobang, which was invented by a journalist.

https://www.economist.com/the-economist-explains/2014/10/01/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-interrobang

Is research and getting things right at all important to you, Centrox?
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 09:13 am
@camlok,
Your article doesn't contradict what centrox had asserted.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 10:01 am
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
centrox: In formal writing, question or exclamation marks are used alone. In informal writing, you can choose the order.


Quote:
InfraBlue: Your article doesn't contradict what centrox had asserted.


It most certainly does contradict centrox's assertion. Journalism makes use of the rules of formal writing/English or at least they think they do.

Most journalists, just like centrox, know very little about how the English language works. Witness Lynne Truss and her eats shoots and leaves BS.

Getting advice from centrox is like asking a farmer for scientific advice on agriculture. The farmer can luck onto an accurate reply but it's a crap shoot.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 12:44 pm
@camlok,
Your article is about the creation of the interrobang typface character. It doesn't speak to its formality or lack thereof. You undermine its authority in the issue.

The rest of your response is an ad hominem against centrox.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 01:21 pm
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
Your article is about the creation of the interrobang typface character. It doesn't speak to its formality or lack thereof.


Journalism uses formal register. Print media has style manuals. Are you denying this?

Quote:
You undermine its authority in the issue.


You make no sense.

Quote:
The rest of your response is an ad hominem against centrox.


I am merely pointing out that centrox makes a pretense of being knowledgeable on language issues but he screws up so often that what he says has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Thank you for the opportunity to make that clearer to all.
InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 02:52 pm
@camlok,
camlok wrote:
Journalism uses formal register. Print media has style manuals. Are you denying this?

I am saying that your article makes no prescription as to the interrobang's formal use.

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
You undermine its authority in the issue.
You make no sense.

You undermine your article's authority by questioning its authors knowledgeability on the subject.
camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
The rest of your response is an ad hominem against centrox.
I am merely pointing out that centrox makes a pretense of being knowledgeable on language issues but he screws up so often that what he says has to be taken with a grain of salt.

Thank you for the opportunity to make that clearer to all.

What I've made clear is that the rest of your response to centrox is nothing but an ad hominem.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 03:01 pm
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
I am saying that your article makes no prescription as to the interrobang's formal use.


That means nothing.

Quote:
You undermine your article's authority by questioning its authors knowledgeability on the subject.


I have pointed out that journalists have little knowledge of the workings of the English language. But they don't actually need that to write. Or invent new forms of punctuation. That this form was invented by a journalist suggests that he saw a need for it in print media, WHICH follows the style manuals, aka formal written English.

Quote:
What I've made clear is that the rest of your response to centrox is nothing but an ad hominem.


Warning others, especially EFLs, of centrox's lack of qualification in dispensing language advice is a service to mankind.

InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 04:04 pm
@camlok,
camlok wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
I am saying that your article makes no prescription as to the interrobang's formal use.


That means nothing.

It means that your article does not contradict what centrox had asserted.

centrox wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
You undermine your article's authority by questioning its authors knowledgeability on the subject.


I have pointed out that journalists have little knowledge of the workings of the English language. But they don't actually need that to write. Or invent new forms of punctuation. That this form was invented by a journalist suggests that he saw a need for it in print media, WHICH follows the style manuals, aka formal written English.

The interrobang character was invented by an advertising executive who had been a journalist. It was created for advertising purposes. Much of advertising does not follow formal conventions. That would include the interrobang character.

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
What I've made clear is that the rest of your response to centrox is nothing but an ad hominem.


Warning others, especially EFLs, of centrox's lack of qualification in dispensing language advice is a service to mankind.

Centrox's language advice is pretty spot-on, your unfounded assertions and ad hominems notwithstanding.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Thu 23 Aug, 2018 04:28 pm
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
It means that your article does not contradict what centrox had asserted.


It does indeed because it points to those using SFE as being users of the IB. Since there is no way to use it in speech, the only place it can be used is in writing.

Quote:
The interrobang character was invented by an advertising executive who had been a journalist. It was created for advertising purposes. Much of advertising does not follow formal conventions. That would include the interrobang character.


Well, unless you know of a way to find examples of formal writing using the IB or any other form of punctuation, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Quote:
Centrox's language advice is pretty spot-on


Because it agrees with yours? That's hardly the test for competence in offering advice on the English language.
InfraBlue
 
  3  
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2018 04:01 pm
@camlok,
camlok wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
It means that your article does not contradict what centrox had asserted.


It does indeed because it points to those using SFE as being users of the IB. Since there is no way to use it in speech, the only place it can be used is in writing.


Whatever the "SFE" is, the fact that the interrobang is used in writing doesn't contradict what centrox had asserted, and there is nothing in your article that would indicate otherwise. It's use is informal.

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
The interrobang character was invented by an advertising executive who had been a journalist. It was created for advertising purposes. Much of advertising does not follow formal conventions. That would include the interrobang character.


Well, unless you know of a way to find examples of formal writing using the IB or any other form of punctuation, we'll just have to agree to disagree.


You're the one making the assertion. The onus is on you.

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
Centrox's language advice is pretty spot-on


Because it agrees with yours? That's hardly the test for competence in offering advice on the English language.

Yes, the test for centrox's competence in offering advice on the English language is his adherence to grammars and style guides for formal registers and not dissembled advice, like the gutter registers you proffer.
camlok
 
  0  
Reply Mon 27 Aug, 2018 05:44 pm
@InfraBlue,
Standard Formal English.

Don't you think journalists who invent some new punctuation form are doing that to fill a void in their writing well?

Quote:
You're the one making the assertion. The onus is on you.


Actually, centrox is the one making the assertion. How could you have missed that?

Quote:
Yes, the test for centrox's competence in offering advice on the English language is his adherence to grammars and style guides for formal registers and not dissembled advice, like the gutter registers you proffer.


Ah, you reveal your true feelings after all these years, Infra. What has led you to lead such a cowardly existence up to now?

And why has this tiny contretemps so twisted your panties into a bunch that it would bring you out of the closet?

Here is what one language scientist thinks of your uninformed opinions. It is what the vast majority of language scientists think of your and centrox's uninformed opinions on language.

Quote:

... William Safire, who writes the weekly column "On Language" for the [New York Times Magazine], calls himself a "language maven," from the Yiddish word meaning expert, and this gives us a convenient label for the entire group.

To whom I say: Maven, shmaven! [Kibbitzers] and [nudniks] is more like it. For here are the remarkable facts. Most of the prescriptive rules of the language mavens make no sense on any level. They are bits of folklore that originated for screwball reasons several hundred years ago and have perpetuated themselves ever since. For as long as they have existed, speakers have flouted them, spawning identical plaints about the imminent decline of the language century after century. All the best writers in English have been among the flagrant flouters. The rules conform neither to logic nor tradition, and if they were ever followed they would force writers into fuzzy, clumsy, wordy, ambiguous, incomprehensible prose, in which certain thoughts are not expressible at all. Indeed, most of the "ignorant errors" these rules are supposed to correct display an elegant logic and an acute sensitivity to the grammatical texture of the language, to which the mavens are oblivious.

The scandal of the language mavens began in the 18th Century. The London dialect had become an important world language, and scholars began to criticize it as they would any institution, in part to question the authority of the aristocracy. Latin was considered the language of enlightenment and learning and it was offered as an ideal of precision and logic to which English should aspire. The period also saw unprecedented social mobility, and anyone who wanted to distinguish himself as cultivated had to master the best version of English. These trends created a demand for handbooks and style manuals, which were soon shaped by market forces: the manuals tried to outdo one another by including greater numbers of increasingly fastidious rules that no refined person could afford to ignore. Most of the hobgoblins of contemporary prescriptive grammar (don't split infinitives, don't end a sentence with a preposition) can be traced back to these 18th Century fads.

-- Steven Pinker [Grammar Puss]




InfraBlue
 
  2  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2018 03:32 pm
@camlok,
camlok wrote:
Standard Formal English.

Don't you think journalists who invent some new punctuation form are doing that to fill a void in their writing well?


Once again, your guy didn't invent the interrobang for journalistic purposes. He invented it for advertising ones. It didn't go over very well even for those purposes.

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:

You're the one making the assertion. The onus is on you.



Actually, centrox is the one making the assertion. How could you have missed that?


Jeez. Centrox had asserted that the interrobang isn't formal. You're making the assertion that it is. Where is your evidence that it's used formally? The onus is on you.

Try to keep up with your own arguements.

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:

Yes, the test for centrox's competence in offering advice on the English language is his adherence to grammars and style guides for formal registers and not dissembled advice, like the gutter registers you proffer.


Ah, you reveal your true feelings after all these years, Infra. What has led you to lead such a cowardly existence up to now?

And why has this tiny contretemps so twisted your panties into a bunch that it would bring you out of the closet?


Oh, I've made my feelings known on other threads about your weaselly advice.

camlok wrote:
Here is what one language scientist thinks of your uninformed opinions. It is what the vast majority of language scientists think of your and centrox's uninformed opinions on language.

Quote:

... William Safire, who writes the weekly column "On Language" for the [New York Times Magazine], calls himself a "language maven," from the Yiddish word meaning expert, and this gives us a convenient label for the entire group.

To whom I say: Maven, shmaven! [Kibbitzers] and [nudniks] is more like it. For here are the remarkable facts. Most of the prescriptive rules of the language mavens make no sense on any level...

-- Steven Pinker [Grammar Puss]

There's more to Pinker than Grammar Puss and that tired quote that's your wont to trot out as a justification for your weaselly nonsense.

In this debate with William F. Buckley Jr., Pinker, for all of his lambasting of "language mavens," does accept standardized forms of the language. He accepts exceptions to a pet peeve of his, the non-rule of split infinitives. Merely, he prefers to base prescriptions on "science rather than religion." All of this, of course, has nothing to do with punctuation and the use of the interrobang, your red herring notwithstanding.
camlok
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2018 04:10 pm
@InfraBlue,
Quote:
Once again, your guy didn't invent the interrobang for journalistic purposes. He invented it for advertising ones. It didn't go over very well even for those purposes.


You have no way of knowing and you refuse to try to find out. But how popular it has become is of no importance. It is there in the English language for everyday people and journalists alike to use.

Quote:
Jeez. Centrox had asserted that the interrobang isn't formal. You're making the assertion that it is. Where is your evidence that it's used formally? The onus is on you.


Correct, centrox made the first assertion without any proof. I merely pointed out that it is available to formal and informal registers. Read what I said above, " It is there in the English language for everyday people and journalists alike to use".

Quote:
In this debate with William F. Buckley Jr., Pinker, for all of his lambasting of "language mavens," does accept standardized forms of the language. He accepts exceptions to a pet peeve of his, the non-rule of split infinitives.


What nonsense is this, Infra?! No one, certainly never me, has ever suggested that there isn't Standard English. I described it in an acronym that you failed to understand. SFE/SWE.

All I have ever said, as does Pinker and any other intelligent language scientist is state that many of the rules advanced by prescriptivists are total nonsense. They have never been rules in the English language. They weren't followed by users of the language before they were invented and they aren't followed by users of the language today.

We should note that they are sometimes followed by pedants like you and centrox.

Untwist your panties and put them in the laundry basket.

That wasn't a debate. Buckley was one of the most ignorant of the prescriptivists. As were all the other language mavens Pinker shamed in that chapter from the Language Instinct.

InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 03:55 pm
@camlok,
camlok wrote:

InfraBlue wrote:
Once again, your guy didn't invent the interrobang for journalistic purposes. He invented it for advertising ones. It didn't go over very well even for those purposes.


You have no way of knowing and you refuse to try to find out. But how popular it has become is of no importance. It is there in the English language for everyday people and journalists alike to use.

In regard to your dumb reply, it is of importance because you implied that centrox wrong about his assertion that, "in formal writing, question or exclamation marks are used alone," by posting an article that supposedly supported your assertion that he was wrong. Your article doesn't support your assertion.

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
Jeez. Centrox had asserted that the interrobang isn't formal. You're making the assertion that it is. Where is your evidence that it's used formally? The onus is on you.


Correct, centrox made the first assertion without any proof. I merely pointed out that it is available to formal and informal registers. Read what I said above, " It is there in the English language for everyday people and journalists alike to use".


Centrox's proof is lack of evidence that the interobang is used formally. You're asserting otherwise. This second assertion of yours doesn't change your previous assertion. The onus is on you.

Or are you being a weasel and trying to change the goalposts?

camlok wrote:
InfraBlue wrote:
In this debate with William F. Buckley Jr., Pinker, for all of his lambasting of "language mavens," does accept standardized forms of the language. He accepts exceptions to a pet peeve of his, the non-rule of split infinitives.


What nonsense is this, Infra?! No one, certainly never me, has ever suggested that there isn't Standard English. I described it in an acronym that you failed to understand. SFE/SWE.

All I have ever said, as does Pinker and any other intelligent language scientist is state that many of the rules advanced by prescriptivists are total nonsense. They have never been rules in the English language. They weren't followed by users of the language before they were invented and they aren't followed by users of the language today.

We should note that they are sometimes followed by pedants like you and centrox.

Untwist your panties and put them in the laundry basket.


No, you deceitfully proffer your crack whore mother's dialect to unsuspecting applicants here looking for advice on Standard English usage.

Weasels use acronyms without first pointing out the terms they're abbreviating. Asses make assumptions about peoples' understanding of what they write.

camlok wrote:
That wasn't a debate. Buckley was one of the most ignorant of the prescriptivists. As were all the other language mavens Pinker shamed in that chapter from the Language Instinct.

Yes, that was a debate in which Buckley and Pinker largely agreed to the various points being discussed, your reference to The Language Instinct being completely irrelevant to your claim.
 

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