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I see the interrobang mentioned on this EL&U question from six-and-a-half years ago. However, the answers there treated it generally as a distant novelty. I seem to come across !?, ?!, ?!?, and !?! quite regularly these days (at least on the Internet!?) Reading the SE answer, it wasn't clear whether they were specifically addressing the special ‽ character (which I too have never come across) or the entire concept [due to the singular nouns they used, maybe the former??]

I'm wondering if its usage has increased/become more accepted over the years, and whether forms like !? may be applied to convey bewilderment in any settings outside Internet discussion or fictional speech. My primary interest is in transcription/caption forms that have very little addition of nonverbal communication (though it could be important in other writing as well, such as quoting someone in journalism). If not, are there any other formal methods for conveying the speaker's bewilderment???

I had pretty limited success on Google (perhaps because it's hard to differentiate between the special symbol and the grouped punctuation marks?)

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  • I think the one you linked is indeed talking about the single symbol. This question is more relevant. And BTW, Google ignores punctuation and symbols, you would have more luck with Symbolhound.
    – Laurel
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 14:08
  • What a brilliant comment, thanks! I knew the characters weren't Google friendly. I tried the less-useful-by-the-day method of enclosing them in quotes, which upon a time seemed to actually be useful (about 15+ years ago). Your link may prove most useful! And the SE question, though not an exact answer, is more useful (as that would be a separate question I could ask, as already perhaps alluded to with the plethora of varying marks through my question). Cheers. Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 14:49
  • If it's legitimate to use two punctuation marks like that, could you please explain the rule set you're using? While you're doing that, please include specific rules for every possible situation. Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 21:41

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