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August 26, 2012

OMG!!! The Rudest Mark!!!!


The History of the Exclamation Point It wasn’t until 1970 that the exclamation point had its own key on the keyboard.
Before that, you had to type a period, and then use the backspace to go back and stick an apostrophe above it. When people dictated things to secretaries they would say “bang” to mark the exclamation point. Hence the interobang (?!) – a combination of a question (?) and an exclamation point (!). In the printing world, the exclamation point is called “a screamer, a gasper, a startler or a dog’s cock.”

Posted by gerardvanderleun at August 26, 2012 11:19 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

It wasn’t until 1970 that the exclamation point had its own key on the keyboard.

That long ago? I remember typing some key and then backing up and typing a period for the exclamation point. The type writers that I used were probably from the 60s.

Posted by: Mike at August 26, 2012 12:33 PM

I took high school typing in 1945, and have been at it off and on all my life. I don't recall ever not having ! on the keyboard. Wonder what else I've forgotten.

Posted by: BillH at August 26, 2012 1:13 PM

As a phototypositor operator in the mid-70s in NYC, I had opportunities to borrow typositor fonts from a hot type shop on East 45th Street. I used to watch those men double proofread out loud hot metal pages. Yes it was a bang!

Posted by: nlm at August 27, 2012 12:20 AM

At the other extreme is the underused semicolon. Most of us have no idea how or why to use the semicolon, which is why it appears in coding so much.

I made so little use of my semicolon that I had it removed. That was a terrible mistake, because now I can only punctuate into a plastic bag.

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at August 27, 2012 12:18 PM

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