make life an interesting question with no answer

Interrobang“What does your ink mean?

“On my shoulder? Life as an InterroBang!”

– not said by Z

Today’s entry is not so much an observation as a question. A metaphorical model, if you will. You see, that conversation never actually happened – at least, it wasn’t answered that way. When I asked my friend Z about the glyph-like symbol (pictured up there on the left) tattooed on her shoulder, what she said was “Mine is an interrobang.

But what I heard was “Life as an InterroBang!” and my brain was off, chasing down that one question:

What would life as an interrobang look like?

Interrobang is as Interesting Does

The particular combination of question mark and exclamation point was created and proposed by an advertising executive back in 1962. His thought was that text would look better if writers used this particular new bit of punctuation to lend both emphasis and inquiry, especially to rhetorical questions.

Or, as wikipedia put it:

sentence ending with an interrobang asks a question in an excited manner, expresses excitement or disbelief in the form of a question, or asks a rhetorical question.

Asking questions in an excited manner? Obviously we misnamed my grandson. But what a wonderful way to think of a life! A life of excited questioning, of eager exploration. Best of all, if it’s a rhetorical question, no answer is expected, and what a relief that is! You can stop trying to find the answer to life’s question, because when you live life as an interrobang, no answer is expected – the question is all.

But Wait, There’s More ‽

chessAs it turns out, the interrobang is also a useful tool from chess. As it turns out, when doing chess documentation, if you use ⁉ it represents an “interesting” move. And again, we find a great use for the metaphor. Life as a series of interesting moves!

What happens if you reverse the order, you may ask? In other words, what if the move is marked “⁈” That, friends, is considered a “dubious move” in chess terms. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad move, you understand…but it’s one you might want to question even more, check in on.

It seems to me that many moves we make in life might look like ⁉ from our perspective and ⁈ from someone else’s. Both can certainly be right, and really, it only matters if you’re looking for an answer. Which the interrobanging life isn’t, so it doesn’t matter anyway.

Your move.

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