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The exclamation mark ( and Commonwealth English) or exclamation point () is a mark usually used after an or exclamation to indicate strong feelings or high volume (shouting), or show emphasis, and often marks the end of a sentence. Example: "Watch out!" Similarly, a bare exclamation mark (with nothing before or after) is often used in .

Other uses include:

  • In mathematics it denotes the operation.
  • Several computer languages use "!" at the beginning of an expression to denote logical : e.g. "!A" means "the logical negation of A", also called "not A".
  • Some languages use "!" to denote a .


History
Graphically the exclamation mark is represented as a point with a vertical line above. One theory of its origin is that it is derived from a exclamation of joy ( io). The modern graphical representation is believed to have been born in the Middle Ages. Medieval copyists wrote the Latin word io at the end of a sentence to indicate joy. The word io meant "hurray". Over time, the i moved above the o, and the o became smaller, becoming a point.
(1991). 9780935603644, Allworth Press New York.

The exclamation mark was first introduced into English printing in the 15th century to show emphasis, and was called the "sign of admiration or exclamation" or the "note of admiration" until the mid-17th century;

(2018). 9781592400874, . .
admiration referred to its sense of wonderment.

The exclamation mark did not have its own dedicated key on standard manual typewriters before the 1970s. Instead, one typed a , backspaced, and typed an .Truss (2004), p. 135. In the 1950s, secretarial dictation and typesetting manuals in America referred to the mark as "bang",

(2018). 9780256022704, Richard Irwin.
perhaps from comic books where the ! appeared in dialogue balloons to represent a gun being fired, although the nickname probably emerged from letterpress printing. This bang usage is behind the names of the , an unconventional typographic character, and a shebang line, a feature of computer systems.


Slang and other names for the exclamation mark
In the printing world, the exclamation mark can be called a screamer, a gasper, a slammer, or a startler.
(2018). 9781592400874, Gotham Books.

In hacker culture, the exclamation mark is called "bang", "shriek", or, in the British slang known as Commonwealth Hackish, "pling". For example, the password communicated in the spoken phrase "Your password is em-nought-pee-aitch-pling-en-three" is m0ph!n3.


Languages
The exclamation mark is common to languages using the , although usage varies slightly between languages. The exclamation mark was also adopted in languages written in other scripts, such as , , , , , , Japanese and , but it has never been found in .


English
A sentence ending in an exclamation mark may be an exclamation (such as "Wow!", "Boo!"), or an ("Stop!"), or may indicate astonishment or surprise: "They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" Exclamation marks are occasionally placed mid-sentence with a function similar to a comma, for dramatic effect, although this usage is : "On the walk, oh! there was a frightful noise." The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. "Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!"

Informally, exclamation marks may be repeated for additional emphasis ("That's great!!!"), but this practice is generally considered unacceptable in formal prose.

The exclamation mark is sometimes used in conjunction with the . This can be in protest or astonishment ("Out of all places, the squatter-camp?!"); a few writers replace this with a single, nonstandard punctuation mark, the , which is the combination of a question mark and an exclamation mark.

Overly frequent use of the exclamation mark is generally considered poor writing, for it distracts the reader and devalues the mark's significance.

Some authors, however, most notably and Madison Acampora, are known for unashamedly liberal use of the exclamation mark. In , the very frequent use of exclamation mark is common—see Comics, below.

For information on the use of spaces after an exclamation mark, see the discussion of spacing after a full stop.

Several studies have shown that women use exclamation marks more than men do, and one study suggests that, in addition to other uses, exclamation marks may also function as markers of friendly interaction, for example, by making "Hi!" or "Good luck!" seem friendlier than simply "Hi." or "Good luck." (with periods).

In English writing and often subtitles, a (!) symbol (an exclamation mark within parentheses) implies that a character has made an obviously comment e.g.: " Ooh, a sarcasm detector. That's a really useful invention(!)" It also is used to indicate surprise at one's own experience or statement.


French
In French, next to marking exclamations or indicating astonishment, the exclamation mark is also commonly used to mark orders or requests: Viens ici ! (English: "Come here!"). A space (« espace fine ») is used between the last word and the exclamation mark in European French, but not in Canadian French. One can also combine an exclamation mark with a question mark at the end of a sentence where appropriate.


German
uses the exclamation mark for several things that English conveys with other :
  • It is used at the end of sentences: Ruf mich morgen an! ("Call me tomorrow.") A normal full stop, as in English, is not rarely seen but is considered substandard.
  • A related use is on signs that express a command or interdiction: Betreten verboten! (English: "No trespassing").
  • The exclamation mark may also be used in the salutation line of a letter: Lieber Hans! (English: "Dear Hans,") However, the use of a comma is equally correct and is more common.


Cantonese
Cantonese has not historically used exclamation marks. Usage of exclamation marks is common in written Mandarin and in some Yue speaking regions. The Canton and Hong Kong regions, however, refused to accept the exclamation mark as it was seen as carrying with it unnecessary and confusing Western connotations. An exclamation mark in Cantonese can indicate strong feeling. For example, the sentence 「X你老母!」


Greek
In , the exclamation mark (Θαυμαστικό, thavmastikó) has been introduced from and is used identically, although without the reluctance seen in English usage.Nicolas, Nick. " Greek Unicode Issues: Punctuation". 2005. Accessed 7 Oct 2014. A minor grammatical difference is that, while a series of interjections each employ an exclamation mark (e.g., «Ωχ! Αχ!», Ōch! Ach!, "Oops! Oh!"), an interjection should only be separated from an extended exclamation by a comma (e.g., «Ωχ, ξέχασα το μάτι της κουζίνας ανοιχτό!», Ōch, xéchasa to máti tīs kouzínas anoichtó!, "Oops! I left the stove on.").


Spanish

In Spanish, a sentence or clause ending in an exclamation mark must also begin with an inverted exclamation mark (the same also applies to the question mark):

¿Estás loco? ¡Casi la matas! – "Are you crazy? You almost killed her!"

As in British English, a bracketed exclamation mark may be used to indicate irony or surprise at a statement:

''Dice que esta noche no va a salir de fiesta (!). – "He said that he's not going to a party tonight(!)."

Such use is not matched by an inverted opening exclamation mark.


Turkish
In , an exclamation mark is used after a sentence or phrase for , and is common following both commands and the addressees of such commands. For example, in Ordular! İlk hedefiniz Akdenizdir, ileri! ("Armies! Your first target is the Mediterranean") order by Atatürk, ordular (the armies) constitute the addressee. It is further used in parentheses "(!)" after a sentence or phrase to indicate or : Çok iyi bir iş yaptın (!) ("You've done a very good job – Not!").


Phonetics
In Khoisan languages, and the International Phonetic Alphabet, the exclamation mark is used as a letter to indicate the postalveolar click sound (represented as q in orthography). In , this letter is properly coded as and distinguished from the common punctuation symbol to allow software to deal properly with word breaks.

The exclamation mark has sometimes been used as a phonetic symbol to indicate that a consonant is ejective. More commonly this is represented by an , or a symbol ().


Interrobang
There is a non–standard punctuation mark intended to combine the functions of a question mark and an exclamation mark in English called , which resembles those marks superimposed over one another ("‽") but it is seldom seen outside Unicode documentation - the sequence of "?!" or "!?" is used almost exclusively.


Proper names
Although exclamation marks are, as a standard, part of a complete sentence and not the spelling of individual words, they appear in many proper names, especially in commercial advertising. Prominent examples include the Web services Yahoo! and Joomla!, the Jeopardy! and the '60s musical TV show Shindig!. The titles of the Oklahoma!, Oliver! and Oh! Calcutta! and the movies Airplane! and Moulin Rouge! also contain exclamation marks. Writer Elliot S! Maggin and cartoonist Scott Shaw! include exclamation marks in their names. In the 2016 United States presidential campaign, Republican candidate Jeb Bush used "Jeb!" as his campaign logo.


Place names
The town of Westward Ho!, named after the novel by , is the only place name in the United Kingdom that officially contains an exclamation mark. There is a town in called Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, which is spelled with two exclamation marks. The city of Hamilton, , changed its name to Hamilton! in 1986.Kemme, Steve (September 21, 2001). "City's gimmick made a point". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2010-08-26. The city of , , changed its logotype to Ostrava!!! in 2008.


Warnings
Exclamation marks are used to emphasize a precautionary statement.

On , an exclamation mark is often used to draw attention to a warning of danger, hazards, and the unexpected. These signs are common in hazardous environments or on potentially dangerous equipment. A common type of this warning is a yellow with a black exclamation mark, but a white triangle with a red border is common on .


Unicode and HTML
The mark is encoded as .

Related forms are encoded:

  • (In IPA: )
  • (for use in vertical text)
  • (for use in vertical text)
  • (for use in vertical text)
  • (exclamation mark in triangle)
  • (in Unicode lingo, “white” means “hollow”)
  • (for special applications within text)
  • (for special applications within text)
  • (a humanized exclamation mark imported from )
Some scripts have their own exclamation mark:


Use in various fields

Mathematics and formal logic
In , the symbol represents the operation. The expression n! means "the product of the from 1 to n". For example, 4! (read four factorial) is 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 24. (0! is defined as 1, which is a in , not multiplied by anything.) Additionally, it can also represent uniqueness or, if used in front of a number, it can represent a .

In , the exclamation mark denotes one of the modalities that control weakening and contraction.


Computers
In , the exclamation mark (sometimes called a "bang")
(1996). 9780262680929, The MIT Press.
corresponds to character 33 (21 in ). It is therefore found in Unicode at . The inverted exclamation mark is found in ISO-8859-1, 9 and 15 at position 161 (A1HEX) and in Unicode at .

The name given to "!" by programmers varies according to their background. In the UK the term was popular in the earlier days of computing, whilst in the United States, the term was used. It is claimed that these word usages were invented in the US and shriek is from Stanford or MIT; however, shriek for the ! sign is found in the Oxford English Dictionary dating from the 1860s.

Several computer languages use "!" for various meanings, most importantly for logical negation; e.g. A != B means "A is to B", and !A means "the logical of A" (also called "not A"). In the UK, used pling as an indirection operator, equivalent to PEEK and POKE of four at once.

, the precursor of C, used "!" for pointer and array indirection: "!P" was equivalent to C's "*P" and "P!3" is equivalent to "P3" in C.

Plings are also used in Acorn to denote an application directory: a folder that when double-clicked executes a program file inside called !Run. Other files in the appfolder generally contain resources the application needs to run. The appfolder can be viewed as a normal folder by with the held down. In addition, other special resource files such as !Boot (executed the first time the application containing it comes into view of the filer), !Sprites (an icon file containing icon definitions loaded if !Boot cannot be found) and !Help (a text, HTML or other executable file listed in the filer menu for the application) also start with a pling.

Early systems also used the exclamation mark as a separator character between hostnames for routing information, usually referred to as "" notation.

In the IRC protocol, a user's nickname and are separated by an exclamation mark in the assigned to him or her by the server.

In the version 3, "!" is used before a letter to denote that the geek refuses to participate in the topic at hand. In some cases, it has an alternate meaning, such as G! denoting a geek of no qualifications, !d denoting not wearing any clothes, P! denoting not being allowed to use Perl, and so on. They all share some negative connotations, however.

When computer programs display messages that alert the user, an exclamation mark may be shown alongside it to indicate that the message is important and should be read. This often happens when an error is made, or to obtain user consent for hazardous operations such as deleting data.

In scripting (typically for or ), "!" is usually used after a "#" in the first line of a script, the interpreter directive, to tell the OS what program to use to run the script. The "#!" is usually called a "hash-bang" or shebang. A similar convention for files calls for the first line to begin with "%!", called "percent-bang".

An exclamation mark starts history expansions in many such as bash and where !! executes the previous command and !* refers to all of the arguments from the previous command.

In the ML programming language (including and ), "!" is the operator to get the value out of a "reference" data structure.

In the Haskell programming language, "!" is used to express strictness.

In the Scheme and Ruby programming languages, "!" is conventionally the suffix for functions and special forms that mutate their input.

In the Swift programming language, a type followed by "!" denotes an "implicitly unwrapped optional", an where the compiler does not enforce safe unwrapping. The "!" operator "force unwraps" an option type, causing an error if it is nil.

In the Perl 6 programming language, the "!" twigil is used to access private attributes or methods in a class (like class Person { has $!name; } or self!private-method;).


Video games
The exclamation mark can be used in video games to signify that a character is startled or alarmed. In the Metal Gear and series, an exclamation mark appears over enemies' heads when they notice the player.


Internet culture
In recent Internet culture, especially where is used, multiple exclamation marks may be affixed with the numeral "1" as in !!!!!!111. The notation originates from a common error: when typing multiple exclamation points quickly, the typist may fail to hold the combination that produces the exclamation mark on many . This error, first used intentionally as a joke in the leet linguistic community, is now an accepted form of exclamation in leet and derivative dialects such as . Some utterances include further substitutions, for example "!!!111oneeleven".

In and , ! is used to signify a defining quality in a character, usually signifying an alternative interpretation of a character from a canonical work. Examples of this would be "Romantic!Draco" or "Vampire!Harry" from fandom. It is also used to clarify the current persona of a character with multiple identities or appearances, such as to distinguish "Armor!Al" from "Human!Al" in a work based on Fullmetal Alchemist. The origin of this usage is unknown, although it is hypothesized to have originated with certain Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, for example, "Football Player! Leonardo", "Rockstar! Raphael", and "Breakdancer! Michelangelo".


Comics
Some , especially comics of the mid-20th century, routinely use the exclamation point instead of the period, which means the character has just realized something; unlike when the question mark appears instead, which means the character is confused, surprised or they do not know what is happening. This tends to lead to exaggerated speech, in line with the other common in comic books. A portion of the motivation, however, was simply that a period might disappear in the printing process used at the time, whereas an exclamation point would likely remain recognizable even if there was a printing glitch. For a short period , as of , attempted to curb their overuse by a short-lived ban on exclamation points altogether, which led to an inadvertent lack of ending punctuation on many sentences.Cronin, Brian (January 28, 2010). Comic Book Legends Revealed #245. Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 2010-08-26.

Comic book writer Elliot S! Maggin once accidentally signed his name with an exclamation due to the habit of using them when writing comic scripts; it became his professional name from then on.Adams, Eury, Swan (2006). The Krypton Companion. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 141. . Retrieved 2010-08-25. Similarly, comic artist Scott Shaw! has used the exclamation point after his name throughout his career.

In comic books and comics in general, a large exclamation point is often used near or over a character's head to indicate surprise. A can similarly be used to indicate confusion.


Chess
In chess notation denotes a good move, denotes an excellent move, "?!" denotes a dubious move, and "!?" denotes an interesting, risky move. In some chess variants such as large-board , "!" is used to record pieces capturing by stationary feeding or burning.


Scrabble
In , an exclamation mark written after a word is used to indicate its presence in the Official Tournament and Club Word List but its absence from the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, usually because the word has been judged offensive.


Baseball
Exclamation points or can be used on scorecards to denote a "great defensive play".Holz, Sean. Scoring Baseball - Advanced Symbols Baseball-Almanac.com


Popular music
The band !!! (pronounced "Chk Chk Chk") uses exclamation points as its name.Seabrook, Andrea (May 17, 2007). "The Musicians of !!!: Making Their Own 'Myths' " (Audio: Flash or MP3). All Things Considered. . Retrieved 2010-08-26.

In 2008, the pop-punk band Panic! at the Disco dropped the exclamation point in its name; this became the "most-discussed topic on fan message boards around the world".Montgomery, James; Elias, Matt (January 11, 2008). "Panic At The Disco Explain Excised Exclamation Point". Artist News. . Retrieved 2010-08-26. In 2009, the exclamation mark was re-inserted following the band's split.Maura (July 10, 2009). "Panic! At The Disco Post New Music, Restore Their Exclamation Point". Retrieved 2009-07-16.

The band Bomb the Music Industry! utilizes an exclamation mark in its name, as well as several album and song titles and promotional material. Examples include their songs "(Shut) Up The Punx!!!" and the album .

American musician Pink stylizes her stage name "P!NK", and uses three exclamation points in the subtitle of her 2010 release, ''Greatest Hits... So Far!!!.


Television
The exclamation mark was included in the title of 's TV series, Dinah! The exclamation mark was later the subject of a bitter argument between and her boyfriend, Jake Jarmel, in the episode, "The Sniffing Accountant". Elaine got upset with Jake for not putting an exclamation mark at the end of a message about a friend having a baby. Jake took extreme exception to the trivial criticism and broke up with Elaine, putting an exclamation mark after his parting words: "I'm leaving!"


Theatre
In musicals, an exclamation mark is usually used when the title of the show has the same title of a song within the act. Examples of this are shows like Oklahoma! and Mamma Mia!.


See also


External links

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