Exclamatory Inventions

The interrobang as rendered by Wingdings 2. While new words enter the language at a respectable clip, the marks and symbols that punctuate them arrive at a slower pace. Whether this is due to temperature fluctuations within the incubator or the devolutionary effects of text-messaging, anyone with half a slide rule and six digits can do the math: 2 + -2 = 0.

In an effort to plug the blowhole of this disturbing trend, I decided to dive, headlong, into the pool of symbolic creationism. Using an Abecedarian entry as the springboard, I noted the utter usefulness of the interrobang as a platform upon which to dry my hair while I considered my next move.

The snarkbangWelding should always be approached with due consideration for its longevity, but exclamations require particular care. An exclamation mark amplifies things, which isn't always the best way to start a conversation with someone you've just met, but can be useful when you wish to remove all doubt. While the snark mark is undeniably useful, certain situations simply require a bit more. Some require amplification, which is handily achieved through the use of the snarkbang pictured here.

The monkeybangThe at symbol has become ubiquitous in e-mail addresses, which is all the more alarming when you consider how many are used by spammers to gum up the machinery you rely on for social networking, and messages from fugitives who may or may not be related by blood or marriage. As you can see, I have successfully welded an exclamation mark to the familiar symbol—sometimes referred to as a monkey tail—thereby creating the monkeybang, suitable for use by spammers, terrorists, and indeed anyone who wishes to alert others to possible ulterior motives.

The amperbangOne of my favorite symbols, the ampersand enjoys a well-deserved reputation for bringing people, places, and things together in an elegant shorthand that's easy on the eyes. Perhaps too easy, which is why I decided to amplify the thing, yielding the amperbang you see here. Suitable for use in place of the weaker standard in company names—law firms for example—it reminds us that two heads are bigger than one.

The grapecentumbangIf there's one thing a hacker can't stand, it's computer naivety masquerading as authority. As recent studies seem to indicate, hacker-wrath increases by an average of 37% for every IT poser promoted to management, which may explain why grapes are such an important part of every hacker's diet. This, in turn, explains why hackers often refer to the traditional percent sign as "grapes of wrath," or simply "grapes." As you can see, I have added an exclamation mark to the grapes on the left, resulting in a new symbolthe grapecentumbangthat amplifies the concept of profit and loss while preserving the grapes' delicious flavor.

I decided to call this an inflatabang, on account of its fiscal puffiness. In a related vein, no one who's purchased a tank of gasolineor the car that surrounds itduring the past thirty years is likely to misunderstand the sensation of vertigo as prices climb toward the outer fringes of reason, and beyond. While the dollar symbol remains unchanged, the underlying concept has warped, leaving only a vague caricature with which to buy a pack of gum. The old idea of "getting more bang for your buck" is bizarre, but I can't very well abandon the formula here, at the very end of my monologue. Or can I?



  1. Yes. I needed two naps and three sedatives afterward.

  2. Jeff, I always look forward to your comments the most. Thank you for always having such warm words. Great post, honey. I adore.

  3. Thank you, Madison. Warmer words to come, I predict, from the Pulitzer committee et al, someday, barring cataclysmic events such as global thermonuclear war.