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Percontation Point

(also known as the Irony Punctuation)

Percontation Point thanks to Martha Matthews

Written English lacks a standard way to mark irony, so in the 1580s English printer Henry Denham proposed the percontation point. It’s rarely used but is a great way to indicate that there is another layer of meaning in a sentence. Use it in an English paper and see the reactions!

QuotaBills
Humor is a universal language. - Joel Goodman

Monogamy: A synonym for monotony. - Gregory Nunn

Irony is the hygiene of the mind. - Elizabeth Bibesco

Language is a virus from outer space. - William S Burroughs

Neither irony or sarcasm is argument. - Samuel Butler

Nothing you can't spell will ever work. - Will Rogers

Music is the universal language of mankind. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Synonym Bun: What a thesaurus eats for breakfast - Unknown

Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it. - Christopher Morley

Ratify: To use a spell and turn a person into a rodent - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

We need a president who's fluent in at least one language. - Buck Henry

There is no language like the Irish for soothing and quieting. - John Millington Synge

I failed kindergarten because I couldn't spell my last name. - Zach Galifianakis

Reality can be lost when reason and language have been violated. - Ravi Zacharias

Retire? I can't spell the word. I'd play in a wheelchair. - Keith Richards

Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people. - William Butler Yeats

I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way. - Mark Twain

England and America are two countries separated by a common language. - George Bernard Shaw

The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive. - Robert A Heinlein

Our waking hours form the text of our lives, our dreams, the commentary. - Unknown

Dreams say what they mean, but they don't say it in daytime language. - Gail Godwin

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. - Frederick Douglass

Out of suffering comes creativity. You cannot spell painting without pain. - John Lithgow

No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut. - Sam Rayburn

Irony is the form of paradox. Paradox is what is good and great at the same time. - Karl W F Schlegel

Humor is everywhere in that there's irony in just about anything a human does. - Bill Nye

Officialese: A government language where you can understand the words, but not the sentences - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Language is our meeting place, the sea we live in... it is the common ground of our humanity. - Toby Wolfe

Give me a few lines of a man's handwriting; that will be sufficient for me to get him hanged. - Cardinal Richelieu

German is the most extravagantly ugly language - it sounds like someone using a sick bag on a 747. - Willy Rushton

Human language appears to be a unique phenomenon, without significant analogue in the animal world. - Noam Chomsky

Although he tortures the English language, he has not yet succeeded in forcing it to reveal its meaning. - J B Morton

Language, identity, place, home: these are all of a piece - just different elements of belonging and not-belonging. - Jhumpa Lahiri

If the English language made any sense, 'lackadaisical' would have something to do with a shortage of flowers. - Doug Larson

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. - Robert G Ingersoll

An organization's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage. - Jack Welch

The great thing about irony is that it splits things apart, gets up above them so we can see the flaws and hypocrisies and duplicates. - David F Wallace

Isn't it ironic? We ignore the ones who adore us; adore the ones who ignore us; love the ones who hurt us; and hurt the ones that love us. - Unknown

Wise sayings are not only for ornament, but for action and business, having a point or edge, whereby knots in business are pierced and discovered. - Francis Bacon

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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