The exclamation mark
The exclamation mark is used to express exasperation, astonishment, or surprise, or to emphasise a comment or short, sharp phrase. In professional or everyday writing, exclamation marks are used sparingly if at all.
- Help! Help!
- That's unbelievable!
- Get out!
- Look out!
You can also use exclamation marks to mark a phrase as humourous, ironic or sarcastic.
- What a lovely day! (when it obviously is not a lovely day)
- That was clever! (when someone has done something stupid)
In very informal writing styles (SMS, chat, Twitter or Facebook, etc.), an exclamation mark is sometimes combined with a question mark to indicate both surprise and slight uncertainty. Double and triple exclamation marks are common in very informal writing styles, but are a sign of being uneducated in less casual correspondance.
Examples of casual writing
- He's getting married!?
- That's insane!!!