Irony mark

:"؟" redirects here. For the Arabic question mark, see Question mark."The irony mark or irony point (؟) (French: "point d’ironie"; also called a snark or zing) is a proposed punctuation mark that was suggested to be used to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level. It is illustrated by a small, elevated, backward-facing question mark. The irony mark has never really been used beyond occasional appearances in obscure artistic or literary publications.


This mark was proposed by the French poet Alcanter de Brahm (alias Marcel Bernhardt) at the end of the 19th century. It was in turn taken by Hervé Bazin in his book "Plumons l’Oiseau" (1966), in which the author proposes several other innovative punctuation marks, such as the doubt point (). It was also featured in the art periodical "Point d’Ironie" by Agnes b. in 1997.

Its form is essentially the same as the late medieval "' ("punctus percontativus"), which was used to mark rhetorical questions [ [ n3193-medieval-punct ] ] .


Although this character has never been officially adopted by typographers, it happens to look the same as the question mark (؟) found in Arabic.

Unicode does not include this character, but several others resemble it:
*Arabic Question Mark U+061F (؟) (mentioned above, but may cause problems with writing direction when used in Western script)
*Latin letter pharyngeal voiced fricative U+0295 (ʕ)
*Modifier letter small reversed glottal stop U+02E4 (ˤ)

Commissioned by the CPNB (foundation for the Collective Promotion for the Dutch Book) on the occasion of their "Boekenweek", which was about "The Praise of Folly", the foundry Underware created a new irony character, and released it into different forms. [CPNB (foundation for the Collective Promotion for the Dutch Book), [ Ironieteken] (Dutch)]

See also

*Sarcasm mark


External links

* [ Site of the publication "Point d'ironie"]

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