Irony punctuation  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Although in the written English language there is no standard way to denote irony or sarcasm, several forms of punctuation have been proposed. Among the oldest and frequently attested are the percontation point invented by English printer Henry Denham in the 1580s, and the irony mark, furthered by French poet Alcanter de Brahm in the 19th century. Both of these marks were represented visually by a backwards question mark (unicode Template:Unichar). The character can also be represented on Windows by using the Alt code 1567. Using LaTeX, one can display it by including the graphicx package, and then using \reflectbox?.

These punctuation marks are primarily used to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level. A bracketed exclamation point and/or question mark as well as scare quotes are also sometimes used to express irony or sarcasm.


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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Irony punctuation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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