¿The Spanish question mark is superior, no?

¡There are so many things to admire, and borrow, from other cultures! A favorite coveted device of mine is inverted punctuation. Spanish keyboards no longer have a corner on this market. Yet it hasn’t caught on in the world of English authors. Hey, we’ve got the tools at our finger tips now, with modern keyboards. If I hold down the option key while shifting and pecking the question mark, it’s there on my screen. I no longer have the excuse of needing a specialized keyboard. And the exclam doesn’t even require a shift. Just OPTION and 1. (On my Mac, accent marks have become a breeze: simply hold down any key to see the selection. Then choose the one you want.)  

If you’re like me, I sometimes don’t realize that an author writing in English is posing a question until I get to the end of the sentence. O yeah, many sentences start with a verbal question immediately evident, making the mark redundant or unnecessary; but other situations are less clear.  ¿Hidden questions warrant the courteous and communicative thing by alerting the reader right up front, do they not? ¡Gotcha! ¿Maybe you’re persuaded? Give it a try.  

There’s an article in The Atlantic about punctuation today where I’ve added a brief comment urging the argument above. The article can be read here:  

CLICK  http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/09/writers-favorite-punctuation-marks/57152/#



One thought on “¿The Spanish question mark is superior, no?

  1. I sure do agree–there are anticipatory benefits of the inverted question mark. But it’s taken me awhile to master the keystroke command, since I don’t use it that often. ¿Maybe I should start using it with my English writings as well? Sure, it might look like a typo to some of us, but at least I’d start to remember the keystroke better. (I would have opted for a Spanish keyboard the last time, were it not for the difficulty I’d have found with the trade-off of the delete key.)

    Anyhow, really good point, Eric. Maybe you’ve started a movement here.

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