Disclosure: I am a person who, when texting, likes to use exclamation points.
Lots of exclamation points.
I like using question marks, too, especially question marks in conjunction with exclamation points.
She *said* that???!!!
Good thing I don’t work for the FBI.
Anyway, where exclamation points (and question marks) are concerned, I like to do exactly what everyone tells you not to do if you want to have a job or a life or the respect of people writing articles complaining about too many exclamation points.
Which brings me to my actual point: French people write exclamation points and question marks differently than we do.
Specifically, they leave a space between the end of the sentence and the mark.
Au secours !
Sauve qui peut !
I love that. (I love that!!!!)
Somehow, for me, the space between the words and the mark gives the mark a dimension of poignancy it doesn’t have when it follows directly on the final letter. I don’t know why.
Poignancy or sobriety.
I’ve started leaving spaces, too.
I love that !!!!
Better, right ?
* It’s a really good thing. I once wrote a ticked-off email to a friend complaining about Ed refusing to sign off on my buying a new computer. He was cheap, I said. Then I sent the email to Ed, by mistake. I was in the room when he got it, and I still remember the look on his face. ↩
And see: More fun with exclamation points, part 2