I submit that the reason the interrobang didn’t catch on is due mostly to its design. The smashing of straight and curved vertical strokes atop each other is hardly a graceful combination, and it gets especially messy at text sizes (‽). Were it drawn more thoughtfully like those of Christian Schwartz’s Amplitude and Fritz, the interrobang might be part of our standard punctuation today, a member of the basic Latin character set, and common in our written vernacular.
I’ve never been a fan of the interrobang, but Schwartz’s designs for it are so clever that they might change my mind. I think Coles is right that the problem with the interrobang as we know it is that it’s ugly. To my eyes, in most typefaces that have an interrobang glyph, it always looks better to just use adjacent exclamation and question marks — ‘!?’ rather than ‘‽’.
★ Thursday, 25 September 2008