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I know a lot of people don't like a double punctuation marks and in principle I agree, but I can't help myself. I rarely use exclamation marks at all. I'm with F Scott Fitzgerald when he said, "An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke." But when I do use them, it tends to be at the end of a question - a question asked in an excited or incredulous manner. As I refuse to miss out the question mark, I need an interrobang. Unfortunately I don't think Microsoft Word has an interrobang as part of its range of symbols. I sense a petition coming...
Recently somebody (probably my eldest sibling - thanks!) drew my attention to this charming article about the imagined lives of punctuation marks. It made me smile. I have a passion for the semi-colon, but after accidentally abusing it for many years with my ignorance, I am also now having a sneaky affair with the em-dash which is increasingly being used to edge the semi-colon out of our written language. Have a read of the article, it'll make you laugh. If you don't have time, or need more persuading, here are a few snippets for you...
Apparently my new passion, the Interrobang is, "[...] always down for muddy outdoor concerts and to see the foreign art films your other friends refuse to go to."
My long-time love the semi colon has an, "[...] eclectic though indisputably stylish sense of fashion, and when she's not working (she doesn't get out of bed for less than $10,000, and, yes, her legs are insured), she spends her time lolling about on a divan and eating bon bons, then whitening her teeth."
Whereas my new mistress the em-dash, "[...] lives on the blood of baby hyphens, and one time, in a bar, while very drunk, she stole En-Dash's purse and took it home with her. When En-Dash called the next day to ask if she'd mistaken the purse for her own (En-Dash doesn't get out much, but she knows things), Em-Dash denied everything."
What are your punctuation loves and hates?