!

2004-09-14 04:53:00 +0000

Hey! I advocate correct grammar. In writing, however, I never really feel certain that I use !s in the correct manner. How much emotion must a sentence convey to merit an !? In the next few moments, I will present and analyze several examples out of context in an attempt to resolve superficially my problem. When reading the following sentences aloud, please inflect the appropriate emotion as indicated by the supplied punctuation.

  1. “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog!”
    As a classic example of a sentence that does not contain every letter of the alphabet, this deserves an ! by default.
  2. “Chloë purchased rice-milk at the grocery store!”
    This sentence warrants the use of an ! if the person in question, i.e. Chloë, does not regularly perform the action in question, i.e. purchase rice-milk from the grocery store. Prepare yourselves for an upcoming discussion entitled Rice-milk: Defined and Explored.
  3. “Excusez-moi, mais vos moutons brûlent!”
    Literally, “Excuse me, but your sheep burn!” I have doubts about whether this sentence justifies the use of an !, but I included one just in case.

Mixed punctuation, such as the “surprised question (?!?!)”, introduces more problems that I will not discuss here.