I grew up learning that an exclamation mark at the end of a sentence refers to a sentence that should be read with, anger or loud emphasis or excitement: https://grammar.yourdictionary.com/punctuation/what/fourteen-punctuation-marks.html

What is the general consensus for sticking one after a question mark? Does it make the question a loud one, an angry one?

For example, what is the emotion intended here:

we'll just go and get you some?!

Without the ! to me it reads as a simple question, but with an ! it suddenly feels like the question is intense or angry?

  • 3
    The context is important. The conversation preceding this will contain vital clues to help decode, given the poorness of the written word to carry conversational nuances. Some even regard double punctuation like this to be verboten. But it is quite proper in chess annotation. I'd guess the punctuation here helps paraphrase an indignant "Do you just expect us to drop everything and go to get you some!?" Jun 29, 2020 at 15:28
  • The sentence you quote is not grammatically a question. It doesn't mean you can't make it one by adding a question mark. But you may find it a better illustration of the point you are making if you begin with an actual question.
    – WS2
    Jun 29, 2020 at 18:36
  • @EdwinAshworth thanks for the answer which i think explains things well. I currently live in Germany where it it seems very common to tick an "!" at the end of simple comments or questions (when writing English or German). It is challenging at times to understand if a statement or question is fueled or not when coming from someone speaking international English... or from textoholic "millennials"...
    – John
    Jun 30, 2020 at 7:00
  • If that wasn't a typo, remember that yes, English only capitalises proper nouns / adjectives unless there are other factors involved – but there's one pronoun that also gets the treatment. Jun 30, 2020 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


It's called an interrobang, and it's meant to represent both a question mark and exclamation point at the same time:

: a punctuation mark ‽ designed for use especially at the end of an exclamatory rhetorical question

Did You Know?

Most punctuation marks have been around for centuries, but not the interrobang: it's a product of the 1960s. The mark gets its name from the punctuation that it is intended to combine. Interro is from "interrogation point," the technical name for the question mark, and bang is printers' slang for the exclamation point. The interrobang is not commonly used—its absence from standard keyboards can explain its paucity in print perhaps just as well as its paucity in print can explain its absence from standard keyboards. Most writers who want to communicate what the interrobang communicates continue to do as they did before the advent of the mark, throwing in !? or ?! as they feel so moved.

Also from Wikipedia:

The interrobang (/ɪnˈtɛrəbæŋ/),also known as the interabang (‽) (often represented by ?!, !?, ?!? or !?!), is an unconventional punctuation mark used in various written languages and intended to combine the functions of the question mark, or interrogative point; and the exclamation mark, or exclamation point, known in the jargon of printers and programmers as a "bang". The glyph is a superimposition of these two marks. The interrobang was first proposed in 1962 by Martin K. Speckter.

Its use is nonstandard and normally only used in informal text.

  • It has had a nascent career, and has merited a Wikipedia entry. But it hasn't reached the Oxford English Dictionary yet. Don't hold your breath!
    – WS2
    Jun 29, 2020 at 18:43
  • The only difference between this question and previous ones involving the interrobang / double (!? etc) punctuation was the request about a possible attempt to convey emotion. The use of the interrobang and variants – the mechanics, acceptability and purpose of showing an exclamatory question – has been covered here before. Jun 29, 2020 at 18:54
  • Trust style guides! Both english.stackexchange.com/a/90662/66755 and english.stackexchange.com/a/535/66755 are excellent answers.I am severely disappointed with the jumbling of descriptive versus proscriptive advice. The fact that Merriam-Webster defines the word is descriptive. Forget about Wikipedia. Their idiosyncratic rules about noteworthiness are notorious.
    – tbc0
    Apr 3, 2021 at 15:16

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