Subtle Coolness · chrono index · alpha index


by William Jackson on 2004-09-14

Hey! I advocate correct grammar. In writing, however, I never really feelcertain that I use !s in the correct manner. How much emotion must a sentenceconvey to merit an !? In the next few moments, I will present and analyzeseveral examples out of context in an attempt to resolve superficially myproblem. When reading the following sentences aloud, please inflect theappropriate 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 ofthe 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. purchaserice-milk from the grocery store. Prepare yourselves for an upcomingdiscussion entitled Rice-milk: Defined and Explored.
  3. “Excusez-moi, mais vos moutons brûlent!”
    Literally, “Excuse me, but your sheep burn!” I have doubts about whetherthis sentence justifies the use of an !, but I included one just in case.

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