But first: interrobangs. This is shaping up to be a banner year for Martin K. Speckter’s creation. Having been selected by Pearson, the giant publishing firm, to form the nucleus of its new logo, the interrobang now pops up at Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft as the title of an upcoming exhibition of letterpress printing.
At the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh on the city’s Blackford Hill, in the depths of its oldest building, is a locked, climate-controlled room. That room is a library, and it houses the world’s most important collection of antiquarian books on astronomy.
This week, there is one punctuation-related news story that towers above all others. In the world of musical name changes, Prince’s adoption in 1993 of an unpronounceable glyph called only “Love Symbol #2” must surely retain the crown for sheer outlandishness, but Jay-Z’s reported un-hyphenation has nevertheless set the music press and mainstream media ablaze.12 It all started on the 18th of July when Billboard editor Joe Levy tweeted:
Those innovators who have designed new typographic symbols make up an eclectic bunch. Interrobang creator Martin K. Speckter was an ad man by trade and a printer by temperament; Bas Jacobs, designer of the ironieteken, and Choz Cunningham, creator of the snark, are type designers; and Doug and Paul Sak of Sarcasm Inc., responsible for the much-maligned SarcMark©, are an accountant and engineer respectively.
The hyphen, it seems, divides just as much as it connects. This week we take a look at two stories of hyphenation — both literal and metaphorical — gone wrong.
Subscribers to The Times may have come across a June 22nd article by Rose Wild entitled “Rude hyphens are not the work of saboteurs”. Wild’s article promises much to the punctuation-phile: