Maria Popova: Ironic Serif: A Brief History of Typographic Snark and the Failed Crusade for an Irony Mark: Noted
Hervé Bazin… dedicated several pages to what he termed Les points d’intonation, or "intonation points"--a solution to the same lack of nuance in written language that Rousseau had bemoaned more than a century earlier. Bazin created an entire system of symbols, including the "love point,” “conviction point,” “authority point,” “acclamation point,” “doubt point,” and his newly proposed point d’ironie, which Bazin explained thusly:
This is an arrangement of the Greek letter Ψ. This letter (psi) is an arrow in the bow, corresponding to ps: that is to say the sound of that same arrow in the air. What could be better to denote irony?