Bring on the certitude point…

Word count: 239 words

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today I discuss a post on punctuation that appeared in the Mental Floss blog. 

I hadn’t heard of French author Hervé Bazin, until I read a recent post on the Mental Floss blog promoting offbeat punctuation marks writers ought to consider. (Thanks for posting the link on Facebook, Hester Riches!)

Bazin had apparently proposed six new ones in his 1966 essay, Plumons l’Oiseau (“Let’s Pluck the Bird.) The Mental Floss post describes all six of them (as well as seven others.) My favourite? The certitude point, pictured above (second from left). I like the way the vigorous T (representing truth, perhaps?) is strengthened by an emphatic dot beneath. And the sign’s relationship to the exclamation point is unavoidable. I think I’d find this mark very useful for displaying my unwavering conviction about so many things. (I am famous for my certitude. At least, that’s what my children tell me.)

I’m sure my son, who is equally well known for his caustic remarks, would favour the SarcMark (short for “sarcasm mark”) which was  invented, copyrighted and trademarked by Paul Sak.

I sense the origin of the Mental Floss post stems from recent publicity surrounding the interrobang, (a question mark/exclamation point combo). Described as “the ultimate symbol to express excitement and outrage in our shockaholic era” I find it looks more like a typographical error. But to each his own.