The blog template recommends that users choose a “Gravatar”, an image that will immediately identify their blog or comment among a list. Not wanting to frighten users away, instead of a personal photo I chose my little motley dragon, Interrobang. Ferocious and fanciful, Interrobang will remind me to be seriously light hearted, to observe intently and speak forcefully, but without losing touch with the comic absurdity all around us.
The interrobang, interabang[ /ɪnˈtɛrəbæŋ/), ‽ (often represented by ?! or !?), is a nonstandard punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the “interrogative point”) and the exclamation mark or exclamation point (known in printers’ jargon as the “bang”). A sentence ending with an interrobang asks a question in an excited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or asks a rhetorical question.
Despite the fact that the interrobang did not “catch on” in common usage, despite the fact that it may be considered ironic, sarcastic, or even challenging, we need it, especially in written communication that lacks the context clues of body language or tone of voice. Since it’s very tricky and often impossible to type, and also relatively unknown, it doesn’t show up very often.
But for me it has another connotation. Interro for curiosity, bang for enthusiasm. Question, and exclaim! Think and speak out! As such it is the name of my motley dragon and a reminder that without curiosity and enthusiasm life would be much less interesting.