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July 13, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]



As a sub-editor and grammarian, one thing that really gets to me when correcting grammar is when people use more than one exclamation or question mark. It’s stupid. Really. And highly unnecessary. Especially when it comes to exclamation marks, which people tend to overuse. If you use more than is necessary, your perceived intelligence will decrease in proportion to the number of excess exclamation marks. Allow me to demonstrate.

No exclamation marks. Sweet. Looks okay. Intelligence = 120.

I’m smart! Fuck yeah! Intelligence = 120.

Going well!! Let’s start using two!! Intelligence = 100.

Oh noes!!! Im getting stupdier!!! Inteligents = 80.

omg!!!!!! wtf!!!!!! iqz < 50. wup wup wup!!!!11!!11 omyr;;ohrnvr - 00.0000000 You see? Does the same apply to question marks?? Yes??? Erghh???? I think I've made my point. But if there's one thing I really hate, it’s when people substitute a ‘1’ for an exclamation mark. Please don’t do this. Please don’t make me smack you.

However, there are problems that arise with the reduction of punctuation marks. What if something is both amazing and a question?! See what I mean?! How can one use both an exclamation mark and a question mark and not be perceived to be an iota under the average level of intelligence?

This is where the interrobang comes in. Interrobang—it’s not some sort of kinky torture sex or a grave-digging explosion. It’s both an exclamation mark and a question mark. Is that not the best obscure punctuation mark you’ve read about on this page today? Here’s what it looks like:

Say what‽ So why don’t you use the interrobang, and make this world a better place. For you and for me. Just cut and paste.

Did I mention that you shouldn’t overuse exclamation marks?

Consider this:
Mr Golding has a gun computer and needs to send a message of death an email to his friend Mr Vasilios. He begins loading his gun typing the message. Pointing the gun Mr Vasilios’ head finishing his sentence, he can now finish him off add some punctuation.
Mr Golding removes the gun’s safety trigger firmly holds down the shift key and places his finger on the trigger ‘1’ key, and…
BANG! TAP! Fires the bullet Types an exclamation mark.
With that, his message of death is complete sentence is punctuated. The deal is settled sentence is grammatically correct and he can escape the crime scene send the email.
But Mr Golding isn’t satisfied. He needs to feel the exhilaration of pulling the trigger pressing the button again, causing another bullet exclamation mark to rip the shit out of Mr Vasilios’ flesh and bone materialise on the screen.
BANG! TAP! Another one. BANG! TAP! And another. Mr Golding doesn’t stop there. After firing a few more bullets typing a few more exclamation marks he sighs and wipes his bloody sweaty brow.
Then he hears it. Sirens Michael Langdon’s cries of agony. Oh no! It’s the Grammar Police! Before he can react, a SWAT team Michael Langdon busts down the door, heavily armed with guns and bullet-proof vests a red grammar-correcting pen and a Collins English Dictionary. They have He has witnessed his horrific crime against the English language  and have has come to put him away for good teach him about grammar.
Mr Golding grins grimly, diving behind the desk to pull out a shotgun a black vivid from his pencil case, ready for a showdown to draw shit on the walls. He’ll never learn, and neither will the Grammar Police.

What will happen next‽

“Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

“They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger. And then it was over.”
-Max Payne


About the Author ()

Mikey learned everything he knows about English Grammar in an MSN chat room when he was 13. Believing that people don't say "LOL" enough in everyday conversation, he has made it his mission to teach the world about grammerz one person at a time.

Comments (1)

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  1. CityCat says:

    Totally awesome‽‽‽‽

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