What's That Interrobang Thing?

Hey there. I'm Hannah. I'm a reference librarian.


I'm not sure you can call it obsolete because that implies that at one time it was used and possibly popular. Perhaps it's better to call the interrobang a “cult punctuation mark.”

This is two-fold for me. First, it is a signature of who I am as a reference librarian. The question weighs as much as the answer. The two are in harmony together. Richard Feynman stressed this – the point is not the answer, and that is hugely significant to me.

Second, I think it nicely wraps up who I am as a secular humanist. The interrobang's creator drafted it to represent doubt as well as surprise. The Elephant's Child 1) comes to mind here, with his insatiable curiosity. Never stop wondering, never stop being skeptical, and always remain ready to be surprised.

Props to Megan, an excellent artist with a steady hand, at Dogstar Tattoo for doing the work for me. H/T to Matthew for drafting the tattoo's font.

1) My brother and I were raised on Kipling's Just So Stories and they were staples in our bedtime routine for many years