Punctuation marks aren’t really limited to the symbols on our keyboards. There are many marks, that registered for the patient. But, never able to make their ways to our typing pad.
Such is the case with the punctuation marks exclamation comma and question comma.
The exclamation comma and question comma invented by three Americans in 1992 But they let the patent lapse just three years later since the two punctuation marks never caught on and they let their Canadian patent expire three years later.
However, the efforts of the little-known punctuation mark’s inventors wasn’t a complete waste as it gained recognization recently by grammar blog Grammarly and other websites.
The inventors described the exclamation question and comma for use ‘within a written sentence between words as a comma, but with more feeling’.
To explain how their new punctuation marks work, the inventors used this sample paragraph:
‘What could an author do [insert question comma] for example, to indicate surprise or other strong feeling in the beginning of a particular sentence when this emotion has dissipated well before the end of the sentence is reached. Use an exclamation comma [insert exclamation comma] as shown in use in the first line of the previous paragraph.’
Leonard Storch, one of the co-creators of the two punctuation marks, wrote about how he came up with the idea in a post on his Facebook page.
‘During a long period writing a technical paper in the early 90s, I was startled in my sleep at 4am when an image of a question mark with a comma below it (instead of a period) suddenly appeared in my mind’s eye.
‘I sprang up in bed yelling, eureka!, so loud that I scared my wife awake. It was the first time I distinctly remember discovering an invention by being startled by such imagery while asleep,’ Storch wrote.