The Exclamation Mark wiki last edited by BeachThunder on 05/29/13 06:31AM
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Exclamation Mark is the name given to the punctuation mark of '!'. It is often used at the end of a sentence, replacing a full stop (period) in order to show alarm or surprise. Most in written text, it is most often used in dialogue and rarely during prose.
Between it's creation during the 1400s in Britain and the 1600s, it was known as the 'Note of Admiration'. Ever since then it has been commonplace in the English language and has been known as the Exclamation Mark. It wasn't until the 1970s that the Exclamation Mark made it's way onto typewriters. Before that point, one had to type full stop (period), hit backspace and then type in an apostrophe.
Within formal composition, Exclamation Marks are only used one at a time, but with the increase of 'text talk' (or 'txt tlk') and excessive gramatical errors making their way into leetspeak (a language used prominently amongst internet hackers) casually it has become commonplace to see many Exclamation Marks added to imply emphasis, for instance "Tht waz gr8!!!!!!!!!"
Not only have at least one study shown that women use Exclamation Marks more than men, but amongst many Literature critics, it has become somewhat accepted that even if remaining formal in ones composition, overusing Exclamation Marks is a sign of bad writing. It is possible that these two facts could explain why most critically renowned authors are men and why comic-books are still not seen as artistic as a standard novel.
In video games, Exclamation Marks are, for the most part, used as any other appropriate punctuation is used (and should therefore not be added to this page, to avoid every videogame with text being added). Perhaps the most notable exception is in the Metal Gear Solid franchise. In MGS1-4 (as well as all subsequent spin offs) an Exclamation Mark above the enemies head showed that the enemy had been alerted. This became a source of inspiration for many MGS based parodies. Under certain circumstances, a Question Mark could appear instead.