There are fourteen standard punctuation marks in the English language. But, it may surprise you to learn that there are many more marks out there, just waiting for us to give them a chance. In fact, you may discover that you never knew you needed them! Here are 10 of these much-needed non-standard punctuation marks.
Sarcasm (snark marks)
Don’t you wish there were a mark that could clearly show sarcasm? Conveying essential nuances like this it perhaps the greatest arguments for using non-standard punctuation. Several people have invented sarcastic punctuation, like the sarcastises by College Humor and the copyrighted SarcMark by Douglas Sak. But the simplest sarcasm mark out there, as originally proposed by Card Chronicle, is simply adding a tilde after a period. (.~)
This is the opposite of a sarcasm mark, and can be used at the end of a sentence to establish a friendly intention.
We sometimes use a question mark and an exclamation point together to show shock and amazement. Why not save space and put both in one mark?
Sure, it’s easy to text <3 to someone, but the love point can be seen as a more formal mark of caring at the end of any well-meaning statement.
Sometimes it’s helpful to demonstrate just how certain you are about something. Use this to show it.
It’s good to be confident, but it’s also good to wonder and ask questions. The opposite of the certitude point, the doubt point expresses uncertainty and scepticism.
This mark combines the seriousness of the certitude point with a note of expertise. This can be used when an order is given from a position of authority or to convey proficiency or expert certainty in a statement.
If you’ve ever wondered if that question your friend texted you was rhetorical, this mark would erase all doubt. Use this to show that the question isn’t meant to be answered or to imply the other person should already know the answer.
This is an enthusiastic mark of honor or welcome. The inventor of this mark, Herve Bazin, called it “a written equivalent of the two flags on the front of the Pope’s car.”
Have you ever wanted to use a question mark in the middle of a sentence? That’s what this mark can do! You can ask a question without ending the statement. There is also an exclamation comma.
There are many more marks out there just waiting to be explored further in our language. Though there isn’t an easy way to type or text them yet, you can certainly use them when writing by hand. You can find more examples of non-standard punctuation on this website and on several articles like this.