5 Things You Didn’t Know About Exclamation Marks

You might think the exclamation mark has been around since the dawn of written language, but in reality it’s a pretty new addition to the English language. In fact, the first actual exclamation mark wasn’t even invented until 1575, making it less than 400 years old!

1) Why do we use exclamation marks?

They weren’t used in print until 1525. Since then, their use has changed over time and still varies between languages. In English, they signal a strong feeling, like surprise or excitement. What are they called in other languages? In French, they’re called points d’exclamation (points of exclamation), and in German, Ausrufezeichen (exclamatory marks). What about upside down exclamation marks? We didn’t always have them!

2) How did the upside-down exclamation mark start?

The origin of exclamation marks can be traced back to medieval times, when scribes would use an upward stroke on paper as a substitute for a dot. In time, it evolved into what we use today—the upside-down exclamation mark! How very meta. However, in some languages, such as Spanish and Hebrew, an inverted exclamation mark is used to start an emphasized sentence.

3) Where does the name come from?

The upside-down exclamation mark is called a quotation dash and is used as an emoticon. In written text, however, it’s known as an exclamation point. It originates from Latin script (we can thank our Roman ancestors for that one). But where did it get its name? Originally, it was known as an interjection point; in fact, you might have seen those marks used in dictionaries to signify what a word meant.

4) The semicolon? No, thanks.

An upside-down exclamation mark is called an interrobang and was proposed as a punctuation mark that would join together what you feel like shouting and what you really mean. The semicolon, however, came from an Ancient Greek bookseller named Aristophanes. In 8 B.C., he put inverted commas around words to create divisions in his books so that it would be easier for readers to find specific information.

5) Other uses for !

The exclamation mark can be used in place of a question mark, depending on your tone and emphasis. Also, it’s written upside down! The first recorded use of an upside-down exclamation point was in 1588. The odd punctuation has been used throughout history to express surprise or anger—but it might be best known as a stand-in for shock over modern technology. For example, when you get a new message from someone you don’t expect, you might type ?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!??!?!!!?!!!!!! into your phone.

What You Need to Know

You have just read an AI-generated article about the exclamation mark.  It was created using the Anyword App. A full review of the article, and the steps I took to create it are detailed in another blog post.

This final paragraph is not well done and would need to be improved.  Also, Anyword did not generate a conclusion, but these listicle posts often don’t have one.  If I were to further edit the post, I would make smaller paragraphs.  I would also research the key facts for accuracy and add a few links to reputable sites.

The SEO scores, in case you are interested in that sort of thing, were decent. But some of that was due to information I had to input, such as the meta description, pictures, links, and so forth.

Still, if you made it this far, then Anyword’s AI text generator is pretty darn good.

Hello
Nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive new blog post notifications

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.

2 Comments

  • It’s scary how AI is readily usable now, isn’t it? And all this during a time where there’s still so much room for growth. I really cannot imagine how things would be like once it develops to the point of ‘instant articles’. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    • I wrote another post (is Anyword a good tool) in which I point out that although the article sounds decent, it is riddled with errors.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.