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  1. Let me start by saying that I'm certainly no master of grammar. I attempt to write in what I believe sounds appropriate. Occasionally I end up with run on sentences, and I'm not very good with hyphenating words that don't need them.

    Recently I came across some obscure punctuation; The Interrobang, Ironicon and Sarcomark. While I question the usefulness of the Interrobang, a combination of a Question Mark and an Exclamation Point, the others are interesting.

    The Ironicon is used to express that a statement should be taken at a second level (irony, sarcasm, rhetorical questions). While this, obviously, isn't strictly necessary in the English language, I could see it's usefulness.

    The Sarcomark, as far as I'm aware, is strictly used to indicate sarcasm.

    I'm torn on the matter of obscure punctuation.

    Obviously, with some extra clarification, these marks are completely unnecessary. Simply attaching a description of your characters actions or expressions, or even secondary piece of speech, would easily explain what you're conveying.

    On the other hand, should we have to do that? I've always believed that the rules of English are there for two reasons. A formal set of rules gives a set middle-ground to which we can all arrive, the mode of speech clearly laid out. Additionally, when one is figuring out how to express something, set rules give a clear picture of how it can be said appropriately!

    Playing devil's advocate, as I'm wont to do, I sometimes wonder if the rules are always necessary. In my mind, it seems arbitrary that I should have to add an extra line or two (perhaps more) to my dialogue just to explain that my character is being sarcastic. A Sarcomark would, if regularly used and accepted, express the characters sarcasm without more added words.

    Verbosity, to me, is not a virtue. Surprising, considering my personal tendency towards being overly verbose in my speech. I do try, however, to stray from being unnecessarily verbose, especially when writing. Sarcomarks, Interrobangs and Ironicons would have given us useful tools if they had entered the mainstream.