exclamation point


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exclamation point

An exclamation point or exclamation mark ( ! ) is a punctuation mark commonly used to express strong, intense emotions in declarations. It can also be used to add emphasis to interjections and commands.
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punctuation

punctuation [Lat.,=point], the use of special signs in writing to clarify how words are used; the term also refers to the signs themselves. In every language, besides the sounds of the words that are strung together there are other features, such as tone, accent, and pauses, that are equally significant (see grammar and phonetics). In English, stress, pausing, and tonal changes interlock in a set of patterns often called intonations. Such features are represented by punctuation, indicated by signs inserted usually between words, and often following the feature they mark.

The intonations of declaration are classified in three types, symbolized by the comma (,), used to separate words or phrases for clarity; the semicolon (;), used to mark separation between elements in a series of related phrases, generally in a long sentence; and the full stop, or period (.), used to mark the end of a sentence. Other intonations are shown by the exclamation point (!); the interrogation point, or question mark (?); the parenthesis [( )], used to set off a word or phrase from a sentence that is complete without it; and the colon (:), typically used to introduce material that elaborates on what has already been said. Quotation marks (“ ”) indicate direct quotation or some borrowing, and usually demand special intonation. The ellipsis (…) is used to indicate the place in a passage where material has been omitted or a thought has trailed off. The long dash (—) is especially used in handwriting for incomplete intonation patterns.

Punctuation of material intended to be read silently rather than aloud—the far more usual case today—has introduced refinements designed to help the reader: brackets ([ ]), a secondary parenthesis; capital letters; paragraphing; and indentation. Two other frequent signs are the apostrophe ('), marking an omission of one or two letters, or a possessive case, and the hyphen (-), marking a line division or an intimate joining, as in compound words. These last two are practically extra letters, and their use, belonging with spelling rather than with punctuation, is highly arbitrary.

Each written language has its tradition of punctuation, often very different from that used in English; thus, in German nouns are capitalized, and in Spanish the beginnings of exclamations and of questions are marked with inverted signs. See also accent.

Bibliography

See W. D. Drake, The Way to Punctuate (1971); Words into Type (3d ed. 1974); D. Hacker, A Writer's Reference (4th ed. 1999); Univ. of Chicago Press, The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed. 2003).

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exclamation point

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References in periodicals archive ?
Palmer's is the use of exclamation points and empty intensifiers.
The exclamation point was needed, according to the company, because other companies in other industries had already trademarked the name without the exclamation point.
One is to search for a specific character common to the link's formula, such as a bracket or an exclamation point.
Today, on its 10th birthday, Anglicans Online (minus the exclamation point) is the largest, most thorough and comprehensive online resource for Anglicans worldwide.
To obtain the CPA logo and tagline in EPS high resolution Adobe Illustrator and JPEG formats, along with FAQs and regulations for reproduction, access the CPA Marketing Tool Kit at www.aicpa.org/cpamarketing/homepage.htm (username = cpamarketing; password = toolkit1!; use an exclamation point after the number 1).
Tom Hauge, chief of the DNR's wildlife division, says "If anything, [this new research] puts an exclamation point on the need to reduce the number of deer in the CWD-infected areas, so less infective agent will be deposited on the landscape."
Gopnik is only too self-aware of his own situation: "Paris for Americans is no longer an exclamation point at the end of the world but a question mark at the fringe of our Empire, and if exclamation points provoke poetry, cultural interrogation produces comedy." Rather than joyous escape, in Gopnik's Paris we find didactic lessons.
In other words, we might pick one or two of the exercises described here and perform a couple of hard sets to put an exclamation point on the workout.
First, the vehement quality of his enunciation (those exclamation points may be taken as Verheggen's authorial signature, though Marcel Moreau, in his preface to Ridiculum vitae, swears that Verheggen's exclamation point is in fact a question mark with an erection); second, the wordplay and the questioning of the signifier that he deploys again and again; third, the iconoclastic manner in which he approaches literary tradition and convention.
In short, for President Vicente Fox, the terrorist attack was the exclamation point on Mexico's economic paralysis.
Peters gives away the answer by pointing to his management consulting company's new logo, emblazoned on his vest: a bright red exclamation point. "Enthusiasm rules!"