a blog of intensely low readership

23 July, 2006


I never even knew it existed until today when I was doing some mild mannered surfing on the old wiki (this time I was satisfying my curiosity regarding the inverted question mark and exclamation point in Spanish— which should really be an entire blog entry in itself...) when I stumbled upon: the interrobang!!???

An ingenious idea, though I can't say it's the sexiest punctuation character I've met in my day. As the story goes, in 1963 a fellow named Mark Speckter was looking for a way to streamline and "professionalize" the usage of "?!" at the end of sentences. "Bang! Interrogate this!" he said, and out popped our new friend the interrobang. I personally think it looks absolutely horrendous - there's a very odd tiny space formed between the curl of the question mark and the bar of the exclamation point. You'd think a better design solution than simply mashing them on top of one another could have been concocted. The name, however, caused me to laugh out loud when I first read it, and certainly deserves a more considered visual mark than this dotted humpy stump.

Sadness. While the interrobang enjoyed some success in the 60s, it simply couldn't compete with modern day copy-pasting 47 exclamation points and 38 question marks into the end of your latest iChat with Jimbob. And the visual impact of one ploppy little blob is no match for 85 punctuation marks.


So maybe it is for the best that this fad didn't last. It's one less key combination to remember, at least (though indeed, many fonts actually include the interrobang, and it made it into unicode).

Pay your respects to this deceased punctuation, and type an interrobang today. But how‽ Why, by copy-pasting, silly!

posted by Mr. Ryan-Head at 10:51 PM   0 comments

12 July, 2006

Jiggity Jigg...

The home-search was frustrating. Jodi and I looked at places all over the Minneapolis / Saint Paul metro area, ranging from apartments to houses to condos; from rentals to real estate; and from Oakdale through Saint Paul and into Minneapolis.

The trouble is, we need to find a place that fits our needs, and our needs are complicated. We need a place that will be a relatively short commute for Jodi (to Oakdale) and myself (most likely Minneapolis). We need a place that we can afford (probably less than $150K). And we need a place that will be our home, with nearby amenities, good space and a friendly atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the best location for us (Saint Paul, likely downtown) is the most expensive, while the nicest amenities (and least expensive) place is way too far away (just outside of downtown Minneapolis - over an hour commute for Jodi).

It's a contest between the $150K loft with only 540 sq ft, and plenty of additional expenses (read: parking).... and a $113K wonderful 680 sq ft flat located just north of the "bad" neighborhood in Mpls, just south of downtown. What to do?

Elliot Street...

...or The Fitz?

posted by Mr. Ryan-Head at 1:18 PM   0 comments