Tag: Henry Denham

If I Were King of the Internet, I Would Mandate the Percontation Point⸮

 

Satire. Irony. Sarcasm. The written word seldom conveys these things well enough to tell them from someone’s making a serious statement or proposal. (This has even been codified and is now known as Poe’s Law.) Distinguishing serious from ironic is a very old problem, and one that was solved in about 1580. It was in that decade that Henry Denham, an English printer, came up with a solution. His idea was to have a new mark of punctuation that would distinguish when someone was not serious. That mark was the percontation point, and it looked like this: ⸮.

Thus, were I the King of the Internet, you would be mandated to use the percontation point⸮ It would probably be the only punctuation available to such publications as The Onion or The Babylon Bee. And maybe some mistakes would no longer be made: