Do exclamation points have a (cough) point? | The Tylt
You ever think how weird writing things down is? You’re taking sounds and representing them with a bunch of squiggly lines. And the rules those lines have to abide by, that thing called "grammar." Semicolons? What are they? Or that exclamation point thingy. Although some people find it necessary to express certain emotions, others think that not only can the exclamation point be overused, but also that it has no point at all. What do you think?
Do exclamation points have a (cough) point?
Who the hell is asking whether the exclamation point is needed? Who? Of course you need an exclamation point! It’s the spice that makes a sentence zesty. It indicates a wide range of emotions from surprise to anger to joy. As that famous “Seinfeld” episode points out, if you just end certain sentences—such as “Congratulations on the baby.”—with just a period, it indicates a lack of enthusiasm for an otherwise exciting event.
The origins of the exclamation point are actually fascinating, believe it or not (I hear you saying “nerd,” so kindly bite me). According to the prevailing theory, the exclamation mark actually comes from the Latin word for joy, io, written with the i over the o. Look closely…look familiar?
Even Grammarly says that the exclamation point is “less common than the period or question mark, but it’s very easy to use. Some might say it’s too easy to use.” When read in between the lines, even the internet’s authority on grammar admits that exclamation points aren’t used that often and, when they are, it’s most likely incorrect.
Even if exclamation points do have any grammatical bearing, they tend to be used far too much. Everyone has that one person in their life that likes to end everything with at least three exclamation points. Isn’t that annoying? Damn straight it is. Do us all a favor—don’t be that person.