from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Denoting excitement, surprise, or shock.
  • n. Indicates a good move.
  • n. Placed after a herbarium abbreviation to indicate that the mentioned material held there has been examined directly by the author.
  • n. A Boolean negation, the not operator, serving to invert the truth value of what follows.
  • n. Formerly used as a separator between hostnames in an e-mail address for the purpose of routing a message (called bang path notation).
  • n. Used as a separator between a user's nickname and ident.
  • n. factorial


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

May derive from a Latin Io, with the I written over the o, placed at the end of an exclamation to mark it as such. The Io may either be an abbreviation for interiectiō ("interjection"), or else the interjection  ("hey!").


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  • Good point. (Sorry—couldn’t resist.) When exclaiming not admiration but disgust (or just clearing one’s throat), one might therefore prefer to employ a probang.

    September 23, 2011

  • Century Dictionary informs us that the character "!" is called an admirative.

    September 23, 2011

  • I proclaim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (alter(altar)-ego(egadsjjjjjjjj(there's the hook and the catch???(Is it called a weir?( Where's the wattle?)))

    September 23, 2011

  • ¡

    September 23, 2011

  • ... "phallic"??

    May 29, 2009

  • I do think they're a sign of bad writing, but there are exceptions. Ford Madox Ford uses them about 10 times a page to punctuate interior monologue. Takes some getting used to but in the end it works.

    January 6, 2009

  • I've always had a visceral disdain for exclamation marks.

    January 5, 2009

  • Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.�?

    — F. Scott Fitzgerald

    January 5, 2009

  • .

    December 13, 2008

  • !

    December 12, 2008

  • ?

    December 11, 2008

  • If didn't produce a 500 Application Error, we could recreate the famous correspondence attributed to Victor Hugo (and reportedly also to Oscar Wilde, 'and thereby perhaps apocryphal').

    September 24, 2008