The “interrobang”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrobang is one of my favorite punctuation marks, intended to combine the exclamation mark and the question mark. Every time I use it though, I get the same question: How do you type it?
The short answer is: The interrobang is to be found in Unicode, at the code point “U+203D”:http://software.hixie.ch/utilities/cgi/unicode-decoder/character-identifier?keywords=interrobang, so the question here is really “How to type Unicode characters?”
h3. In Gnome/GTK+ applications
In Gnome/GTK applications, you type the character by first pressing CtrlShiftU, at which time you will get an underlined u to the left of the editing caret. You then type in the Unicode code point, 203D. When you now press space, the interrobang will now display. In XFCE, replace space with CtrlShiftX (this also sort of works in Gnome, except in the console, where it will insert junk.
h3. In Opera
In Opera, this works a bit differently: When a text field is focused, you first write the Unicode code point, 203d and then press CtrlShiftX. The chaaracter should now change to the desired ‽.
h3. In Windows XP/Vista
The procedure for Windows XP/Vista is nearly identical as for Opera, just replace CtrlShiftX with AltX.
h3. In KDE
Sorry, you’re “out of luck”:http://trolltech.com/developer/task-tracker/index_html?id=71224&method=entry (for now) – use a character selector application or applet for now, or even use Opera to edit text.
h3. Bonus
Those familiar with Spanish know that a question or exclamation in Spanish starts with an upside-down punctuation mark, “¿Que?” or “¡Hola!”, and there *is* an upside-down interrobang, at U+2E18, so you can now go all “⸘Que‽” on people

18 Comments

  1. On Mac OS X you need to enable the “Unicode Hex Input” keyboard layout (a one-time operation) and when you have, you can press ⌥+203D in any input field to get ‽. Great tip on the interrobang, by the way. I’ve never heard about it before. 🙂

  2. /usr/share/X11/locale/en_US.UTF-8/Compose
    Multi_key question exclam : “‽” U203D # INTERROBANG
    Multi_key exclam question : “‽” U203D # INTERROBANG
    So I think you can get it in KDE if you have the “dead keys” option on (or whatever they’re calling it these days).

  3. Nice utility for finding the compose sequence(s) for generating a particular character:
    http://www.pixelbeat.org/scripts/ximkeys

  4. That answers the question of how you enter such a character using a keyboard, mind if I ask a follow-up?
    How does one represent such a character in ones feed? For reference, your feed currently contains the following:

    ‽
    
  5. Sam: Heh. That would be Movable Type messing up, I’m afraid. I type ‽, and MT converts it to @‽@ and promptly escapes the & once more.
    Should be fixed now, but I’ll have to keep in mind that it’ll probably bork entries in the future.

  6. And, heh. I had to go back and re-edit this entry to make the output here meaningful.
    Guess it’s time to roll out something that understands Unicode properly.

  7. Haha, the opening version for Spanish is awesome.
    BTW, I assume you meant the question, like “What‽”. In that case, it’d be with an accent: “⸘Qué‽”

  8. That’s what I meant. I suck at Spanish, apparently.

  9. Tried several times on Windows. But it doesn’t work: 203d then Alt + X.

  10. WildEnte

     /  2008-09-19

    The question that came to my mind when I saw the interrobang was about the why rather than about the how….
    What’s the point ?!
    (c;=

  11. I’m with Julie – I’d never heard of it before either! I’ve learned something today. Wonder if I’ll ever have the chance to use that knowledge! Geez, I probably could have used it right there to end the last sentence!

  12. Never heard of this before and to think that you found ways to insert it – very cool. Maybe I will see it used someplace and have an “aha!” moment.
    By the way, thanks for the Wiki link – I use that site quite a bit – my favorite reference source second only to Urban Dictionary.

  13. Thanks for the Wiki link to the interrobang! Maybe I’ll just bookmark that site and use it for cut & paste when I need to use the symbol! LOL!
    I’ve never heard of it before your post, very interesting! Maybe I’ll try to impress some people with using that in the future.

  14. Well why doesn’t it work for me? I’m feeling kinda left out here. Got any suggestions to what might be wrong or what I could be doing wrong?
    KeeKee

  15. KeeKee, minghong: Does “this”:http://www.windowsvistasecret.net/secret.asp?haber=54 help?

  16. @mingholng, KeeKee: It seems to depend on application support, though. You could always try the alternative outlined on that site.

  17. Learn something new everyday! Thanks for the tip!

  18. That worked!!!! Thanks!!!!!