17 May

In all the reference books on correct usage of English, one of the important chapters is on the tall and slim ‘!’

As noted by Stuart Jeffries in his article The joy of exclamation marks! the innocent punctuation mark was chided and refused entry into convential language, unless you couldn’t contain the excitment of, and needed to make it stand out through the strature of this interruption, mid-sentence.

My favourite, and oft-recounted anecdote is the telegraphic exchange between Victor Hugo and his publisher –

…one day Victor Hugo sent a telegram to his publisher. He wanted to know how his new book was doing. His telegram read: “?”; the publisher’s reply: “!”. The exclamation mark, you see, meant Hugo’s book was doing well. The publisher could have deployed sentences of Proustian length to explain the novel’s success among the target demographic of 18- to 35-year-old Parisians, but he saved a few centimes by cutting to the chase.

So long!

Bookmark Screamer


2 Responses to “Screamer”

  1. piminibic May 23, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


    • Y Chromosome May 25, 2010 at 11:31 am #

      Thanks so much.
      There will be some exciting blog posts coming up soon.

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