August 25, 2008

Spanq? Quirigram?? Interroflip??? Curioso????

What should we call the upside-down question mark that precedes questions in Spanish? That's the question posed by a name-that-punctuation contest at Emdashes. It wraps up midnight tonight (PT), so there's still time to enter, no questions asked.

Posted by David F



I just like that name.


I just suggested calling it the "splainu" in honor of Ricky Ricardo.

Santorum--isn't that when something else has been upside-down?

What most people don't know (or never took the time to notice) is that the period that ends a declarative sentence in Spanish is also upside down (see below).

English .

Espaņol .

How about "left query"? Not as though we don't distinguish between left quotes and right, at least in formal print.

I bet the Spaniards actually already have a term for it. Why not check? In HTML, it's "& iquest" (without the space).

The "fish hook". Because it looks like a fish hook.

So then we'd call a standard question mark an "upside-down fish hook"?

"Get-bent-erisk" because who are we to name the punctuation of others?

English needs a new punctuation mark for a statement that ends in upward inflection but is not a question. And it shall be called the Interroflop.

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