CA2102803A1 - Two new punctuation marks: the question comma and the exclamation comma - Google Patents

Two new punctuation marks: the question comma and the exclamation comma


Publication number
CA2102803A1 CA 2102803 CA2102803A CA2102803A1 CA 2102803 A1 CA2102803 A1 CA 2102803A1 CA 2102803 CA2102803 CA 2102803 CA 2102803 A CA2102803 A CA 2102803A CA 2102803 A1 CA2102803 A1 CA 2102803A1
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
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CA 2102803
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French (fr)
Leonard Storch
Ernst Van Haagen
Sigmund Silber
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Original Assignee
Leonard Storch
Ernst Van Haagen
Sigmund Silber
Cias, Inc.
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Priority to US697,796 priority Critical
Priority to US69779691A priority
Application filed by Leonard Storch, Ernst Van Haagen, Sigmund Silber, Cias, Inc. filed Critical Leonard Storch
Publication of CA2102803A1 publication Critical patent/CA2102803A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current



    • B42D15/00Printed matter of special format or style not otherwise provided for



Using two new punctuation marks, the question comma and the exclamation comma: ? and ! respectively, inquisitiveness and exclamation may be expressed within a written sentence, structure, so that thoughts may be more easily and clearly conveyed to readers. The new punctuation marks are for use within a written sentence between words as a comma, but with more feeling or inquisitiveness. This affords an author greater choice of method of punctuating, e.g., to reflect spoken language more closely. Moreover, the new punctuation fits rather neatly into the scheme of things, simply filling a gap, with a little or no explanation needed. Also, the interabang comma ? if the interabang ? is available. An example of usage follows. Readers encountering their first question comma ? in print may silently remark: "Clever! funny I never saw one of those before".


.YOV 09 ~93 12:59 ROSEN,D~INOW&JRCOBS (212)3705998 ~_ P.5~99 ~g2~1~4SB PCr/~JSs2/039lo 21~2~

Two l~ew Punctuation Marks:
the Question Comma ~ and the Exclamation Comma !

This invention rel~tes to printing methods and apparatus, morc particularly to methods of punctuati~g and punctu~tion marks.
"lN l~gP~CXON~EY~UN ~ O~ ~OUGHrr in wntiQg or print, punctua~o~
ls of pr~m c importance. It makes for clear expres~on and correct nders~anding." (Quoted from a treatise on punctuation by C. Ralph Taylor, M.A., in "~lebster's Ne~v ~nerica~ Dictiona~y,"
page 1:86, Copyright O Books Incorporated, 19$7.~
., .
B~ckg~ound of the Il~ventioQ
(~ngoing inventi~e acti~ity regard,;~g punctuation i~l the print-ing ~lel~ is rather sparse, as if to suggest (at least to t~e uninitiated) that t~ cre 4e no new and suf~lciently ~se~ul purpose served by an l~nova~ive met~lod of punctuating or punctuation mark.
For exsmple, the interabang ~ (~'ba~lg" is a printer's term for a slam ! ), expressing, e.g., incredullty and/or disbelicf, was invented by Mar!c Speckter, an advcrtising man, and created by ~rpe design~r arJ Isbcll for use il~ a t.~rpef~cc ca~cd "Americana, ' which was introd.leed by American Type Founders in 1~67. At that time insight ul remarks i~cluded: "It ma~ces a statement while aski~g a ~IuesLio~; ~MPHASIS with ~eedbsck."
h~st would agree that the interaba~g was not very successful.
Accor~ing to co~temporar~r writer Sa~ Whitmorc (Edito~ bief, PC ~Vc~k m~gszine, from the Marc~ 4, 1991 issue): "No one lcnows why it Ithe interabangj died so young. The need for it eJdsted then a~d sti'l exists ~ow." Notwithsta~di~ Mr. Whitmore's statement that: "J~O onc knows why...," applicu~ts' theory explaining ~hy the int~rabang was not widely adopted is discussed belc~w.

I`iOV Q9 '93 13:00 ROSEN,Df~INOl~l&JQCOBS ~Z12)3705998 ~ 99 W~ 92/1~4S8 2 1 0 2 8 13 3 PC~US9~03910 According to rep~rts, the interaba~g appea~s to be ~he f~st new punctuation mark to be introduced since thc late 17th centur,r, when quot~tio~ msrks were ulventcd. "Who cares?~ an example of usage of th~ two punctuatlon inventions of thc past 300 years.

Summary of the Invention Applicants herei~ have i~lvented new ~rays for al~ au~or to express inqUiS~UveD~eSS and exclamaffon with~n a written or printed sentence st~ucturo, so that }~s~her thowg~s may be more eadly ~ -~d/or clearly conveyed to and understood by reade~s, us~g ~wo ncw punctuation narks; the questio~ comma and t~e exclamation com~na: ~ and I rpectively. Shown in use aIId use desc~ibed as fo~lo~vs;

~t's a heck of a t~ng! for example, for a~ author to pose a question ne~r the beg~ng of a pa~t~cular se~tence he is ~vriUng only to discover that ~y the end ::
of his sentence a question marlc would be ~ell out of co~text. Vse a questio~ comma ~ as shown in use in the first line of the following paragrsph.
Wh8i could an author do'7 for example, to indica~e surprise or other StroDg fcel~g i~ the ~eginDing of a pa~ticular sentence when this emotion has L~ssipated well before the end of the seJlte~ce is reached. Usc an exclamation comma J as shown ~ nsc in ttle first line of the p~e~rious paragraph.

AD exclamation commà or a question comma punctuation mark ~la~ be used within a wriUen se~teDce betwee~l words as a corruna, but with more fecUng or inqu~sitiveness, respec~i~relyl as shown and descAbed.
With applicatlts' me~od of punctuating a~d pu~letuation marks, writing may follow other forms of laDguage more closely.

.. ;,. ., ,. " , ; ,. ~ :

NOV 09 '93 13:01 ROSEN,DRINO1~ JRCOBS tZ12~3705998 P.7/99 !~ . ? i~ .J
92/l945~ 21028~3 P~US9;t~03910 ~h~t is to say, certain emotio~s o~ in~uisi~iveness, for example, that one may have when ~inlcing or speaking, may now be morc closely rctlected when wnti~ ln otller words, ~e new pullc~uati~n allows a writer to more closely follow lan~uage, Similar to the w~ tl e period and comma differ t . ].
and simllar to the way the colon a~d sem~colon differ so do thc e~clamatio~ mark and the exclamation co~ [ t l ~.
and s~ d~ the question mark and the questio~ com~a 1 ? ~ ]-In a way, use of t~ese new pullctuation marlcs invol~vcs movi~gthe top part of the qucstion or exclamatiou mark from thc end of a sentence, leaving a plain peAod at the end of the sent~ncc, and rcpositioning this top part over a com~na whicb proba~ly would bo wa~ted, for exsmple, after an if~terroga~ory or exclamatoIy clause.
~ pplications and uses for tl~c new punctuation includc: p~t-ing, publishing, typesettLng, advertisi~g, newspapers, boo3cs, scripts, periodlcals and documents, o~iginals, on{~al copi¢s, pnnti~g plates and thc lik~, headlines, text, fo~ts, font desig~, manufacture and circulation, pre stype, printed maffer, publ~sbed wntten m~terial, and commlJnic~tio~ thereof, and wllen many copies of ~ritten material are made, printing press~s, duplicato~s, ~f~lce copiers a~d the llke, written material publislled on paper, fabric, metal, plastic and other substrata, and i~ electro~c ~orrns such as ~n sto~age memo~ ips and t~c like for computers, TV ~nd ~risual d~splay mc~ns, greefing cards, labeIing, pac3cagi~g, T-shi~ts, menus, titles, names, movies, signs, cosrucs, and so fo~th, and r¢adi~g t~e ~ew punctuation msrlcs in such or similar wr.ltt¢n, pru~t¢d or comm~icatcd ma~çrials.
The question now, of a question semlcolon for cxamplo, is ~nootl becausc the structuse of e~st~g punctuation mar3cs docs not lend itsel~ as it does ~or the question co3~ma (t~is concerD îs dîscussed in more dctaîl below). HoweYer, that is ~ot to suggest that a sen~cnce structure wa~ting a question semicolon may not best be senved with a ~uestlon comma as opposed to other altelnatives.
Quote~l from the treatise on pu~ctuation cited above:

.... .. . ~ , . , , ~, . . . . . . . ..

liOV 09 '93 13:~1 ROSEN. IliOl~&JRCOBS (212)3705998 P.8~99 `~ ~ 92Jlg45~ 2 ~ 9 2 ~, ~ 3 PCIJUS9~/0~910 "there is ~o unqu41ified ~per~e i~ punc~uation ...
good punctu~tion ClaAfl`~S; bad punctuation obscures."

~ 'ith applicants' ~novative punctuation tech~iques aIId n~arks, a~ author is a~orded g~cater choice of metho~ of punctuating, e.g., to ~cflcct spokcn language or tlloughts morc close~y. Moreov~r ffl a w~y, as descr~bed below, tbe new punctuation marks do not appear out of p1ace, a~or is t~ere any learni~g requireme~ worth -~ -mentionmg, snd they can be used immediately with present mechanized wnting appsratus ~d fonts, ss described below.
For languages such as Spanish, thc questio~ cQ~a a~d t~e exclamation comma msy or may not aLco bc llsed upside down witbin 8 scntence. llf uscd upside dow~l. mo~e spacc betwcell lines ('qeading") may be requ~red.] I~deed, conve ItiODS of mes~i~g a~d~or usuage o~ c~rtai~ punctuation marks may vary from onc lan~a~e to the next. For examplc, the quotation martcs mentioned above werc adopted into American Endish language convention as shown: "Jenny said. 'Who cares~' " but Bri~sh usage reverses the order of use of single and double quote marks, us~ng single quotes first, with douUe quotes for interior quotatio~, as show~l: 'Je~n said, "Who carcs~" ' and French and German use differalt quolatl~n marks altoge~er, a~d also with differeIlt conventiolL

Descr~ption of thc ~rawings Fig. 1 shows the new punctuation and ho~ the ncw punc-tuation may bc constructcd for a font. For examplc, a ~ucstion conuna may be made by superimpos~ng a question mark ( ? ) aIld fshow~ as an ampersand ( & ) ~n the Figs.] a comma (, ) to equal ~show~ as a equal sign ( = ) in the Figs.l the nc~v question comma ?
},e., as sho~ on two distinct lill~s in ~lg. 1, and also shown wlthin tbe followin~ parcnt~eses: ( 7 8c . - 'r ). The honxontal lines shown to the left a~d nght ~epresent ~he font's baseline.
Fig. 2 represents thc "standardized" IBM PC keyboard Isyout, wh~ch is part of the ASCII 128 code set.
' ~"

..... . . ~

,, ~
,. ~ ,. . : . :, ~ , . . .
- . - : - , - , ,.
; , , .


N~V 09 '93 13:0Z ROSEN,DRINOW&JRCOBS ~Z12)3705998 p,g~gg ~ 92/19458 2 1 0 2 8 ~ 3 P~r/usg~03910 s Fig. 3 represents a PC layout with thc ~w punctuatio~.

~ igs. 4 to 8, similar to Fi~. 1, also show the new puslctuation and how the new punctuation may be constructed for a font.
Various ~ype styles and sizes are illustrated. ~e horizontal lines to t~e le~t and rlght represcnt respective font baseline~.

Detailed Desc~iption Refcrring to Fig 1, ~ ma~ufacturer of typc fo~1c for the printin~ tr~de, the desktop publishing m~rlcet or the llke mi~ht provide his product with an au~mented selection of punctuation marks. For example. a ncw mark ~nay be composed by oo~bining the uppcr part o~ a question mark with a comma ~elow this upper psrt, this co~nma bcing basc s]i~ned as usuaJ wi~ t~e font's other punctuation marks. Thi~ combination may bc providcd for use along with the font's other punctuaUon. l'he same may be said in Iegard to applicanls' exclsmation comma.

Applicants' new punctuation marks may be acccssed fo~ use with~ a sentence by lceyboa~d operators like other punctuation ma~k_, as de cribed be10w. A font augment~d wit~ a~p3ica~ts' new puncaustion ~a~ks may be structured as follows. For example, rcfe~ri~ig t4 the IBM PC keyboa~d layou~, w~ich is part of the ASCII 128 code set, as specif~cd ~ the Amencan Standards lnsti~ute broc~re USAS X3~16-1966, and as sbow~ Fig. 2, t~c font position occupied by ~e upside down caret 1~ ], which is in the shlft (cap position) of the number 6 Icey, mig~t be replaced with the question ~ comma And, still referring to Fig. 2, the fo~t posltion occupied by the ~ilde 1 ~ 1, which is ;n the shift position of the single quote mark, .
might be replaccd with the exclam~tion I comsna The replaced caret ~nd tildc are of littlc usc fOF composing type anyway, s~nce they are n~t use~ul as such for ~uman language, but rather are . ~.
intendr.d for computer telecommunication coding.

., : ~ . . .

NOV 09 '93 13:02 ROSEN,D~INOW&JRCOBS (212)3705998 ~ P.10/99 ''~`92~19458 2 1 0 2 ~ ~ 3 P~r/~s92/o39lo ln any casel a keyboard operator u~ng the ~B~ PC keyboard layuut (or, e.g., apparatus operated by software) equipped with a ~ont s~ructured as described above ~nd as shown i~ Fig. 3, may access, for.display, printit~g, communication, storage, etc. purposes, the qucsUo~ ~ comma by activating the ~ift of the number 6 key, arld the exclamation I comma may be accessed by activating the shift position of the sin~le quote mark, as s/he (anotller sign of our times) accesses othe~ punctuation, such as the question mark which is tlle shift of the diagonal key, or the exclamation mark which is the shi~t of the number 1 key.
Also, typesetting, desktop publishing or word processing e~ui~
ment, prlnti~g apparatus, computer controlled printi~g or pmlt-out appsratus, and the lilce, could be improved and made suff2ciently versatile to allow the following. A comma could be supen~posed over a question mark, so as to substa~tially cover the lower part ~the point or period) to make applicants' question comma on-thc-spot. By putting ttlC comma over the ques~ion mark in th~s manner, appropriate space along the type's baseline for the question comma (~vhicb is similar to the question ma~k) will be reaLized.
For cxample, thc Alphatype phototypesett}ng ~achine, circ~
1965 to 1978, manufactured by Alphstype Incorporatcd in Skokie, Illi~ois, had a "non-sel" key that allowed a keyboard operato~ to supe~mpose one character over a~sother. On the Alphatype, wi~b left aliDned characte~s on iS ~m fonts, a questioII comma could be made as descnbed in the example following using an average font i~ ~hicl~ the width of a question mark is 10 UI~itS and the widt~ o~
a comma is 4 units. (Similar to Monotype, Alphatype fonts were based on an 18 unit ~lt system, i.e., 1~ units to the em.) ~xample: ~
hold thc n~n-set key and hit the question mark kPy; indent 3 units; : ~:
hit the comma key (which uses 4 units); indent a~other 3 units. A
~otal o~ 10 units having escaped for the question comma, typing would eontinue with the word space key. In thi~ way, the comma would be ccntered under the question martc's upper portion~ a~d would cover the question mark's lower part (the pOiIlt or dot).

.~: . . ; .. . - . ~ . - - .

.. .
.- . - ~ .. . , . -. ..

- . . . . ... .

NOV 09 '93 13:03 ROSEN,DRINOW8~JflCOBS (Z12)370599æ ,"~ P. 11~99 92~19458 2 i 3 2 ~ 0 3 PCT/US9~/03~10 (While neither letter nor punctu8tion marlc, even ch~racter would l)e stretching it, the word space, a plai~ bla~k, was a major invention hr written langua~e, ~s were methods of vsry~g word spaces within lines to form justfied gàllPys of type. ~lease sec for cxample, C)ttomar MergenthaIer's U.S. Patents, circa 18~, for his linotype rnachi~c, the molten lead typesetter that dominated for about 100 years.) The EditWriter phototypesetting machine, the world's most populas phototypcsetter, still in u-se here ~d abroad, ma~ufacturcd by Con~puGraphic Incorporated, has a feature th8t allows a keyboard operator to automatically center a "floatln~ accent,"
which has no width assig~merlt of its OWIl, over a lette~. hit the desi~ed accent key followed by the letter it is to be placed over.
~ather than a width ass~gnme~t IL~ce other characters of 8 font, a floating accent marl; is assigned a code, 128, in the ~ont film5trip's associated widt~l assignment mernory chip, typically today a 2716 EPROM chip, which is located ~n the width card. (See for exarnp~e, Storch et al.'s U.S. Pat. No. 4,642,624.) Code 12B acth~ates the fes~ure descrlbed when the typesetting 3Ob is processed or pnnted.
Thc notable (for bigh quality) Mergenthaler V~ phototype-setting machine ~clrca ~9~7 to 1982) with its "oscillating" forn ~ -dsum, also lncorporatcd a floati~g ~cccnt feature. T~e floatil~g accent opesatio~ on ~he VIP was similas iII pnnciple to thc EditWrit~, although the ViP's fo~ts werc ri~ht aligned ~nd the EditW~iter fonts were left ~sligned lilcc Alp~atype.
Accosdi~g to We~ster's ~ew Inten~tianal D~ctio~a~y of t~e -EDgl1sh L~nguagct Second Editioll, Vnabridged, ~ 19~9 by G. & C.
Mer~ia~n Comp~nyt accents were inYe~ted iII about the 7th ce~tury:
"Punctuatio~: 1.. 2. The system o~ vowel sig~s and acce~ts, inYcnted a~out the 7th century A~)., used in thc Maso~a"
A com~a has a width a5signment, whic~ is needcd when a comm~ is ~sed normally, i.e., as a plain comma, while a floating accent ~as no width assignment, but t~e comma's width assi~ment - .

~'OV 09 '93 13:El4 ROSEl`i,DQINO1~18Jf~COBS ~Z12)~705998 P.lZ~99 - ` g2~ 8 2 1 ~ 2 8 ~ 3 Pcr/us92~039l0 could bc ignored when making ~ question comma~ The comma m~y be cente~ed ~ the width space assigned for the questio~ m~k, and placcd unde~ the question mar~c~ on ~he typc baseline as u~ual.
(Most noating accent marks were placed on the font so as to f~t over a character.) ~ 'idth space requirement m ay not be ~ issue vrhen USiIlg an exclamation mark and a comma as desc~ibed above to malce an e~clamation com~a since oxclamation marks and commas ~a~
have s~lar spac4 requlres~e~ts anyway. A~d, accord~g to the inven~ , a monospaccd ~ypewriter may be used wlth simllsr ease in maldng a questlon comma or an ~xclarnation co~ma, In a manner cffect~vely ~milsr to that described aboYe, using the backspace key, sincc all keys have s~ar spacing requi~ements.
When a qucstion comJna is needed wit~ a scntence, for example, typc; the comma key, the backspaee kcy and then the ~Iuestion mark key. Or, type: the question ~ark key, thc backspace key and then the comma key.
Aiso, a software product may be pro~rided (~ce a software "utility") to construct applica~ts' llew pu~ctuatio~ marks as , neede~, sisr~ in operation as desc~ibed above for the EditWriter phototypesetter. For example, such a product might sutomatically superlmposc a com~na effcctlvely centered 1cft to right o~ver the lower part of the question mark appropriate1y whcn OUtpUttil~g thc follo~nng two consecutive kcystrokes shown wit~ t~e brackets: ~, ? ].
For exa~plc, when a question comma is nceded withitl a se~tenco of a tcxt iile bei~g typed usi~g a word p~oces~i~g program, for example, the PC keyboard opcrator could typ~ the comma key fo110wed immediatdy by the questio~ mark Icey (ASCII codes 44 63). Dùring thc print cyclc (in preparation for a WYSIWY~
video àisplay, before storage, at some poi~t, etc.) these two ke~stro3ces, codes 44 63, may activate software to func~on as follows: a comma would be centered i~ the space allowed for tl~e questio:~ mark of the font being used, and the question marlc would ',., ' ' . .' ' . ' . '` ' ' ' ' , ` ' " ' ' `: ` : ' ' ` ' : ', ' , . ': .

NOV 09 '93 13:04 ROSEN,DflINOW&JRCOBS ~Z12)3705998 ~ P.13~99 ~` g2/1945B ~ 3 PCr/~g9~03910 also be positioned ~ that same space.
Othe~ means of typing the new punctuatlox~ are possible.
Using the lBM (or an Apple~) PC key~oard for desk top publ~shing or wold pr4cessing, for example, the control key, the altcrllate l~ey, escape kcy or the like, msy be depressed wbile typi~g t}~e questlon m~rk key to cause the question eomma to be displayed on the CRT
mo~tor andJor pnnted, as described. Or, for example, when a question ma~k is typed (ASCII code 63) followed ~y a word space (ASCII code 32; yes, the word space has its ~ery OWD ASCII code) a~ld tbe ~ext letter typet is a lower case letter (ASCII codcs 97 to 122 inclusive), suc~ sequences may be detected and used to causc the gcnerstio~ oS a questio~ comma, sillce a nor~at ~uestion mark, which cnds a sente~ce, typically is followed by a capital letter -(ASCII codes 65 to 9~ lnclusive) or ~he end of the pan~ph.
}Iowever, therc may be cases where a question comma is iollowe~ ~y a capitalized word, sllch as a proper name, within a .
senten~ e. If this were the case, the typist may use alte~ate mea to type a question comma ~which pre~edes a capitalizèd word).
Also, 2 grarnmar checker program, at~d/or a word cllecki~g routine, e.g., to detect if a woId may be a proper name, may be employed to help determine if a par~icular t~rped question marlc is used witi~
a sentencc or is used to end a senteIIce.
With some at~pical type styles the comma may not cover the Iower part of the questio~ mark (thc point or penod). This poirlt may extend past one or both sides of a superimposed comma some relati~rcl~r ~mall amount. In smsller type sizes this may not even bc noticed and ill larger sizes it may not be objectionable. Howelrer, when using a digitized type font (as opposed to a metal fo~
mechanical font or a f~lm font) the lower part of ~e ql~estio~ marX
may e~;ectively be easily removed au~omatically wherl making a questioa comma, as described bdow.
Or, it may be prcferaWe to provide only th~ upper part of question r~rk in a fo~t (as opposed to 8 f~fl question mark with ~, ~ , ,. " . ;.. ,.. ,~ . . . .

; . , -, - ~

KO~ 09 '93 13:05 ROSEN,DRINOW8~J~COBS ~21Z)37C5998 P. 14/99 ` 92/~g4~8 2 1 ~ 2 ~ ~ 3 PC~-JS92~03~10 the point) and ~utomatically combine this upper "qucstion" part wi~2 a period when a question mark is called for, and automatfcall~
combine this upper part with a comma when a question comma is.
callcd for. Softwsre to do this may opera~e similar to that described above: type , ? for the question cornma, or t~rpe . ? for t~e question mark, or, when a question mark key o~ly is typed, it ~ay automstically cause the period and the upper question part to ~e com~incd to make the qucstion mark as if a full questio~ marlc were ~vailable normally.
AboYe, it was assumed that the point compA ing t}le lo~er part of ~he question marlc was effectively covercd by the comma when a question comma was formed, e.g., in responsc to an operator typing 1, ? ~. ~Iowever, software may also ~utomatically t "erasc" the lower part of t~e questio~ mark before combining ~
the comma. ~or example, with a discreetly s~ed bltmapped font in a Hc,~vlett Packard 300 dpi laser pAnter format ~HP's standard "SoftFo:~t" format) ~lle pixels compIising the question marlc's lower part (tl~e point) could effectivcly be turned off (or "erased") so that : ~:
the space under the upper part of the qucstion mar~c ef~ecti~ely becomcs blank, and then the comma could be combined to make : -the qucstion comma.
Siinilarly. with a scalable "outlinc" font, (scalaUe to des~ed type si2es) such as a cu~cntly popular PostScr~pt~ ~ont from Adobe Systems Inc., the portion of the outline de~ g the question mar~c's lower part (the poiDt) could effecS~vely be ignored (or "crased") so ~hat t~e space under the upper part of the questio~ mark effcctively becomes Uank, and then t~e comma could bc combined to mal;e the question comma.
Irl thesc examples the pOiIlt bei~g, with a discreetly si~e~
bitmapped fo~t or an outline de~med font, t~e space sepa~atlng the question mark's upper and lower parts may be sensed, so that the question mark's lower part below this separating space may effccti~ ely be removed o~ erascd before the comma is co~b~ned to make ~lie question comma. In other words, a method o~ blankin~

:: : ~ :: ::

-~V 09 '93 13:06 ~OSEN,DRINOW&JRCOBS (ZlZ)3705998 ,~ P.15~99 ~; `,' V~9~194S8 2~02~Q~ PC~tUS92~03910 out the lower par~ of a punctuation mark, which is made up of a~
upper part sepaIated wit~ a blank space from a lower part, would be to ~etect the blank separating space a~d effecti~ely blaIlk out the lou er part below this blank separating space, so that a comma may then be positioned in the lower blaDked out space belou~ mc blank separa'~ing space.
Lilcewise to tho abovc about the question comma 1 ~ ~ for the exclamation comma I ! ~, and ~or the ~nterabang comma ~
I:~,ffercnces between applican~c' inter~bang com~a t ~ ~ a~d ~arlc Speclctcr's prior art interabaDg 1 ? ] are discussed ~elow. ~o~
- example, applicants' interabang comma is for use bctween wor-ls within a sentence, w~ile Speckter's iDtcrabang is for use at the end ~ -of a sentence. Indeed, ~e ~dationship betwecn applican~s' intc~aballg : - -comma and Speckter's ~n~eraba~g is similar to ~he relationship between applicants' question corslma and a question mark.
~ !so, while Speckter's interaba~g appears to be a question marlc c.-mb~ed with an exclamation nlark. the interabang punctuation mar~c may not be ~ade by simply combiniIIg an cxistin~ exclamation rnark and a qucs8On mark. It docs not worX, not even on typewsiters. ~esearch ~as s}low~ that thc rcsul~ of simply ~ombining a question mark a2~d an exclamation mark may not bc recog~izable as such and/or is not acsthetically pleasing if uscd as puDctllation it obscures, or ~o~se, det~acts, which is an unforgi~vable sin (unless thc writl~ is about ~amsnar and punctuatio~). On somo typewri~ers however, a usaolc~ interabang may be made by typulg 8 single quote or ~n apostrophe o~vcs a qucstion mark (in this seDtcnce the use of the 7 is i~corrcct; the ? acts as an 8dver~ and it separates a noull from its adjective).
~ proper intersbang must be designed as a distinct charactc~;
it cannot be made by simply superimposing one characte~ uporl another, i.e., an exclamation ma~k and a question mark. This ~s also thc casc with most printing ligatures. ~or examp~e, pIOpel' ligat!~ëS
represen~ing fi, fl and ff each need to be sep~ately desigr~ed.

' .

NOV 09 '93 13:06 ROSEN,D~INO1~18JRCOB5 ~212)3705998 ~ P.16~99 2~ 458 2 1 0 2 ~ ~ 3 PCr/US92~.03910 For example, ~us~g lay terminology) to make an in~era~sng, the top part of ~he exclamatio~ mark (aboYe thc point) may be altered, i.e., shortened or elongated, andJor the shape of the top of the question mark may be opened wider i~ a~ adjustment to accom-nodate the altered exclamation mark. This type o~ work is what type designer Richard Isbell did ~or Ame~ic~n Type Founders (::ompa~y, ATP, in lg67: he designed the ~cw i~teraba~g hr his new t~peface, Americana I~Jtablg, examination of samples of Amencana suggests that Mr. IsbeJl des~gned the upper part of thc Americana question mark to be widc enough--in anticipa~ion of a tru~cated exclamation mark; :he interabarlg resulting from this combiuatioll did not look o~t of place at all; in hct, it ~atc~ed the distinctive ~nd remar~ably beautiful America~a question mark perfectly, preci~e~y as pres:r bed by Mr. ~sbell, of course. However, even witil Mr, -Isbell's talent, an extra character is required, i.e., as Just desc~bed, a modl ied exdamation mark (m addition to a regular size exclam~tion mark).
P-,rhaps oue reason the i~terabang nevcr became widely adopted was because it cannot readily be made using a font's cx~sthg punctustion. Fusther, according to applicaIIts' Icnowlcd~e, America~a was thc only tgpcfac~ o~fcred wlth the i~terabang~
~3nder t~is c~rcumstsnce, how could ~c il~tcrabang have caught on?
Some font manufactures ~till offcr Americana today with .ts interab~ng, however. Be that ss it may, as described, tlli~gs sre diff~rent regarding the question comma and the excla~tion comma For example, most, if ~ot all, preseIItly cxisting fozlts alresdy in use (including Americana) may be used to make applicants' question comma a~d exclamation comma, as descrihed ~bo~e. If 8 typeface already has an iIltcrabang, such as AT~'s ~mericsn~, applicants' interaban~ comma may be made slmply v~ith a comma and the top psrt of lhe iDterabang, similar ~:
to the ulescription above for the question comma. ~

- ,. , - . ~ .

NOV 09 '93 13:07 ROSEN~D~INOW&JRCOES t21Z)37~5998 ~ P.17~99 : r~
~ ' 9~/194S8 PC~JUS92~03910 2~02~3 Modifications and Other embodiments A!so, "fonts" comprised of assorted, universally usable eharac~ers for use with many different type styles (including: pi cha~acters, sorts, floating accents, ligatures, legal marks, math symbols, dingbats, legend symbols, chessmen, logos, and so forth) mag b~- provided with orle or more uuiversally usable sets of tlls new p~nctuation, usable with a varicty of different typeface designs. ~::
For ex~;mple, a serif set a~d a sa~s serif set"ncludi~g roman tnorm~l upridlt) and matchi~g italic, all i~ seYe~al type weights (hg, li"ht, book, rcgular, demibold, bold or extrabold) might be provided, each sct cont~ining a question comma~ an exclamati~
comlna, a~ intetabang, and/or an interabang conuna, or componcnts thercfcr, to !oe used along with andlor combined with other punctu~tion marks of a varic~y of typeface designs (fonts).
Parts for fonts may conSain applicants' ncw punctuation marks. For example, remo~able pieces of f~ with "pi w~ndou~
char~cters" thereon could be made wi~ the ncw punctuation marks. Such pi windows, containing scveral chsracters or 3ust one ch..racler, may be attached to film fonts provided wlth approp;iately positioned blank windows (except for helpful assoclatcd alignment marks) therefo~. Certai~ ~lm fonts for the Alphat pe and EditWriter phototypesett~g machi~cs mentioncd above, ior examplc, had such blank vnndows. Such parts of fonts with ~e new punctuation marks thereon could be used ~ th6 usual manner, similar to other cl~a~acters, for cxample, taped ~ place on the ~ilm fons using alig~me~t marks provided on the remo~able pi window piece and ~vith the font's blank window.
Printing plates, stulcils, ~asters, o~igi~a~s for copying and the like, using the methods aIId apparatus mentioned above, may be made wi~h a qucstion con~a, exclarnation comma or an i~teraba~g comma punctuation mark thereo~ Suc~ plates, etc. may be us~
~vith ink, toner, and the lilce, ~nd they may be used to copy ~yp;~
uith thd new punctuation on apparatus such as a printing presC
duplicl..or, mimeograph, office copier, stsmp, ar~d so forlh.

NOV 09 '93 13:08 ROSEN, D~INO~&J~COBS (212~3705998P.18~99 :- .
~92~ 1 U ~ 3 Pcr/u~g2~!039l0 Storage me~nory mea~ls, such as magnetic or optical disc, or other media, etc., semiconductor chips, devices, etc.1 or the lil~e, using the ~et~ods and apparatus mentioned above, may be loaded, re~orded or otherwise made to contain or have stored therein or as~ociated therewith a ~uestlon comm~, e~clama~don comma or ~n interab:mg comma punctuation mark. Such storage memory means mag be used with laser, elcctron or other bea~s of energy or particles, for example, a~d ink, toner or the Ji3ce on a substrate to forrn tl-~ new punctuation mar~s, and they may also ~e used to make copies o~ the new punctuation marks with pri~ti~g appar~-tus or imp~oYed prinbng apparatus, such as a printi~g press, laser printe~, CRT, LED, ink 3et, thermal or other imaging device, ~y desktop publis~ing output dcvice, duplicator, mimeograph, officc copier ~d so forth. Such devices may be keyboard or computer controlied, etc.. to prlnt the new punctuation.
~ IJhen positioning t~e comma physically or electro~ically ns described under thc top part of a question or exclamatio~ mark the lowor part, the p~riod, ~nay be used as a ~eferencc. In most cases fcr exa~plc, the part of thc super~mposed or replacement comm~ ~bove the bsseline will mateh o~ be centered with positio.~ of the covered or removed period.
Scmc fonts have bcen and some still are supplièd wiih a lett¢r charact.,r dcscrlptivdy cslled the "no dot i" (l.e., the lower case lctter i wlthout a dot). This sllows an a~cent ~ark (e.g., a flo~ting accent msrk) to be placed over the no dot i w~thout 1nterference irom the i's do~ Accordin~ to the invention however, a no dot i may be made on-the~spot, usi~g the blsnking tec~nique descrlbed abo~e to blank out the lower part of a question mar~ or e:~ple, with a 13iscreetly sized bitmapped font or an outli~e defined f~
describcd above, the space separating the lowe~ case lette~ i's dot from t~;e lower part of the i may be sensed, so that the i's dot above t~ is separatin~ space may e~fectively be removed or eras~:d before :n accent is combi~ed to make an accented lower csse l~tter NOV 09 '93 13:08 ROS~ ,D~INo~&J~COBS ~Z12)3705998 ~ P.l9~99 Wf' 92Jlg45~ 2 ~ Q 3 PC~r/USg21039~0 i. Itl otiler words, a met~od of blanking out the upper part of a letter (punctuation ma~, or other character) which is made up of an lipper pa~t separated with a bla~k space from a lower p~rt, would ~e to detect t~e Ua~k separating space and effectively bla~c out th~ part sbove this blank separating space, so that an accent, for example, may then be positioncd in the upper blanked out space ~bove the blank separat~g space.
Figs. 4 to 8 show the constructio~ of the new punctuati~ for seve~l type fonts. Various roman and italic styies and sixes of 'ype are selected to bc representative. 1~e hori~o~tal lines to the le.~.t and ri~`at represent rcspcctive font baselines as in Fig. 1. In Fig. 8, both roman and italic t~pe are shown on esch li~e, ~igs. 1, 4 t - 8 and this text include ~amiliar, atypical a~d representative ~ypeface "themes," such as: Century l~ext, Collegette, Cooper 75, Coronettc, Futura, Helvetica, Jenny, Jenny Gothic, Olde Anglo and l~Lmes Roma~, and others sin~ilar thereto.
Ccrtain changes and modifications of the in~rention disdo:~ed herein may now be readily appa~ent to ]iferate people. It is the applic~.lts' intention to cove~ by the cl~Lims all such uses of t~e invention and all those cha~ges and modifications which could be made t~ the ~nvention without departing frcm the spirit and scope of thc i.wendon. For example, while described in particular for Englis', thls new punctua ion may be used, with appropAate adaptation, in other languages, a~ld, while described ~ particular for tllc questio~ comma, the excl~mation comm.a aI~d the iIItera-ban~ comma nlay ~e co~sidered similar to t~e question comma :. . , . - , . . ~ . , . - .

Claims (14)

1. A method of punctuating within a written sentence comprising the use of a mark between two words of said sentence, said mark being composed of both a comma and the upper part of an other mark: a question, exclamation or interabang mark, said comma being below said other mark's upper part and associated with said sentence's baseline.
2. In a font, a punctuation mark comprised of a comma and the upper part of a question mark, said comma being below said question mark's upper part.
3. A method of printing a punctuation mark made up of an upper part separated with a blank space from a lower part, comprising detecting said blank space and blanking out said lower part below said blank space while printing said upper part of said mark, and printing another punctuation mark in said lower part's blanked out space below said blank space.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein said punctuation mark is a question mark, exclamation point or interabang, and wherein said other mark is a comma.
5. A font containing a question comma, an exclamation comma or an interabang comma punctuation mark which is used along with said font's other punctuation in composing type from said font with keyboard operated or computer controlled printing apparatus.
6. A font and means for making a question comma, exclamation comma or an interabang comma punctuation mark from said font's question mark, exclamation mark or interabang, respectively, and a comma which is used along with said font's other punctuation in composing type from said font with keyboard operated or computer controlled p?inting apparatus.
7. In a font, a punctuation mark comprised of a comma and the upper part of an exclamation point, said comma being below said exclamation point's upper part.
8. In a font, a punctuation mark comprised of a comma and the upper part of an interabang, said comma being below said interabang's upper part.
9. A punctuation mark comprised of a comma and the upper part of a question mark, said comma being below said question mark's upper part.
10. A punctuation mark comprised of a comma and the upper part of an exclamation point, said comma being below said exclamation point's upper part.
11. A punctuation mark comprised of a comma and the upper part of an interabang, said comma being below said interabang's upper part.
12. Storage memory means or the like in which is stored a question comma, exclamation comma or an interabang comma punctuation mark for use with computer controlled printing apparatus.
13. The combination of ink, toner or the like on a substrate forming the shape of a comma under the upper part of a question, exclamation or interabang punctuation mark.
14. In printing apparatus or the like, the improvement comprising means for printing at least one of the following punctuation marks: a comma under the upper part a question mark, a comma under the upper part an exclamation mark or a comma under the upper part an interabang mark.
CA 2102803 1991-05-09 1992-05-06 Two new punctuation marks: the question comma and the exclamation comma Abandoned CA2102803A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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US69779691A true 1991-05-09 1991-05-09

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US4315748A (en) * 1979-03-22 1982-02-16 The Governors Of The University Of Alberta Alphabetic device

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