Skip to main content

Using Exclamation Marks in Writing

Let's have a revisit to the punctuation arena. Today's topic is exclamation marks and how to use them correctly.

An exclamation mark is used to convey surprise, shout, awe, anger, or any such strong emotion. Please note that you should use it mostly in the conversational sort of writing and in dialogs. Here are some tips.

1. Don't use two exclamations or three together ever.
2. Use them as sparingly as possible especially in formal writing.
3. Don't use them with question marks (?!)
4. Don't use them in normal sentences, only on sentences which convey strong emotions in an informal fashion.

Here are a few examples for you to follow.

Wow, it's a lovely view!
How irritable those kids are!
She cried, "It's astounding!"
Good heavens!
"Ouch! It hurt"
I didn't do that. I swear!


  1. I have to say I don't agree with old fashioned writing rules like these. It's now perfectly acceptable (and common) to use multiple marks and to mix question and exclamation marks.

  2. But definitely not in formal sort of writing, Mike. That will make you look like a fool. Avoid it.

  3. Agreed Lenin, although I can't actually remember the last time I wrote anything "formal".

  4. I'm with Mike. There is a fine line between strong message and visually distracting though.

  5. Thanks for the comments. But definitely anything you write on a blog is not formal. And this blog is meant for writers who publish in print media. Do you see a lot of !?s and !!!s in print?


Post a Comment

Comments are moderated very strictly

Popular posts from this blog

What Is the Difference Between Hardcover and Paperback?

Today, my reader, Rahman contacted me with a doubt:

Dear Lenin, would you explain why there are two types of books: hardcover and paperback?
This is quite a simple affair and there are explanatory articles to be found at various places on the Net. Here is my addition.


A hardcover aka hardback is a book bound with thick protective cover, with usually a paper or leather dust jacket over the main cover. The aim of hardcover is protection and durability. These books are mainly for long-term use and collectors’ editions. Hardcover books last far longer than the corresponding paperbacks. They do not get damaged easily thus making them perfect for reference guides, great literary works, etc.

In addition, there is a difference in the type of paper used to print hardcover books. The paper used is long-lasting acid-free type. Acid-free paper has a pH value of 7 (neutral) which makes it highly durable. The papers are stitched and glued to the spine.

Hardbacks are prepared for commercial …

En Dash, Em Dash, and Hyphen

We have three types of dashes in use: The hyphen, En Dash, and the Em Dash. In this post, we will see how to use them all correctly.

Hyphen (-)

The hyphen is the minus key in Windows-based keyboards. This is a widely used punctuation mark. Hyphen should not be mistaken for a dash. Dash is different and has different function than a hyphen.

A hyphen is used to separate the words in a compound adjective, verb, or adverb. For instance:

The T-rex has a movement-based vision.
My blog is blogger-powered.
John’s idea was pooh-poohed.

The hyphen can be used generally for all kinds of wordbreaks.

En Dash (–)

En Dash gets its name from its length. It is one ‘N’ long (En is a typographical unit that is almost as wide as 'N'). En Dash is used to express a range of values or a distance:

People of age 55–80 are more prone to hypertension.
Delhi–Sidney flight was late by three hours.

In MS Word, you can put an En Dash either from the menu, clicking Insert->Symbol or by the key-combination, Ctrl + Num…

What Is the Meaning of the Word 'Ghajini'? Story and Trivia of Aamir Khan's New Film [Special]

[Special Entry]

Aamir Khan's latest film is titled a little weirdly for the taste of Hindi filmgoers. 'Ghajini': They have never heard of such a name, and such a word never existed in Hindi or in any other Indian language.

The name Ghajini is the name of the villain of the film. In Tamil version, the name of the villain was Laxman.

As a Tamil moviegoer, I have already watched Ghajini and know the story in full.

So, What Does the Title Mean?

In Tamil, the title of the film is inspired by the story of Mahmud of Ghazni, an ancient invader of India. This person was so persistent in invading India that he continued trying after several failures. In the film too, the protagonist is such persistent in finding out and killing the villain of the film, who had killed his girlfriend, Kalpana (played by Asin). Aamir's Character (named Sanjay Ramaswamy in Tamil), is a short-term amnesiac, who cannot remember anything more than fifteen minutes.

You may ask then how the Ghazni became…