Computer: Keyboard: Keys
Anti-exclamation mark overuse key!!!   (+30, -3)  [vote for, against]
Because one exclamation mark is more than enough already

Nobody has any conceivable use for more than one exclamation mark. No-one really has a life that dramatic. I want to try and gently push them away from this kind of punctuative excess, by making a keyboard which inserts a time lapse after the exclamation mark has been pressed. During this time lapse, no further exclamation marks may be inserted. Though this is intended primarily to get rid of the dreaded '!!!', it may also be used to prevent too many !'s being used in too small a space.

Alternatively, I suppose a simpler version would be to prevent multiple consecutive activations of the !, eliminating the former problem, except when the keyboard user is determined enough to want to get around it.
-- -alx, May 29 2001

The problem http://www.fadetobl...whatdoyouthank.html
This kind of punctuative abuse just need not be tolerated. [-alx, May 29 2001]

A fellow soul http://balder.proho.../issues/issue2.html
One of the many results for "hate exclamation marks" on Google [-alx, May 29 2001]

[Rods]: Yeah, that's a good enough reason to vote for it.
Could be set up like AutoRepeat, or as part of GrammarCheck (although tabloid writers seem to have GrammarCheck turned off permanently).
-- angel, May 29 2001

I was also thinking of some kind of e-mail filter, similar to the ones you can get already to cut out all the >>>> from forwarded mails. Except this one would remove exclamation marks to render the text calmer and less irritating. This would be ideal for when one has to accept communications from people who haven't yet adopted the AEMOK.
-- -alx, May 29 2001

I like it !!!

Terry Pratchett, in his novel Maskerade, used the number of exclamation points in threatening letters from the villain to gauge his insanity. An ordinary person with a point to emphasise might use one or two but five is a sure sign of being a loony.
-- sirrobin, May 29 2001

The other annoying thing about the use of exclamation marks is that people very seldom use them in their proper place, i.e. at the end of an exclamation. They seem to have become a 'this comment is amusing' mark. Oh dear!
-- DrBob, May 29 2001

To Spanish speakers / writers make a point of using the correct number of matching upside-down !s when going in for this sort of thing?
-- AndyKnott, May 29 2001

When Tchaikovski diagrammed the orchestra seating chart for the manager of the auditorium for the premiere of the 1812 overture, and he casually mentioned "...and this is where the cannon go," how many exclamation marks do you think appeared in the manager's thought balloon?

When the Pentagon (or whoever) commissioned a task force to study ways to use a boat as an airport for jets, and after much study, the task force reported back and said "We'll use this hook, see, and a really big rubber band..." After the laughter died down and they realized the proposal was serious, do you really think only a single exclamation mark would have sufficed?
-- beauxeault, May 29 2001

Beauxeault: (re aircraft carriers) probably none needed at all. People have been flying planes off boats since 1910, long before there were any real difficulties landing and taking off on such a small area. Bigger and more powerful planes have just required small incremental developments of old ideas.
-- sirrobin, May 29 2001

As has been noted above, this does nothing for the single misused exclamation point! But perhaps that not a reason to vote against it! Sometimes you just have to solve one problem at a time!
-- globaltourniquet, May 29 2001

I agree! Totally!
-- thumbwax, May 29 2001

waug, what the hell are you talking about?!?!
-- globaltourniquet, May 29 2001

Have you ever noticed that there is frequently an inverse relationship between the number of exclamation marks and the importance of the thought preceding them?
-- arghblah, May 30 2001

No Duh!!!!!
-- thumbwax, May 30 2001

Move annotations in chess, where multiple exclamation marks and question marks can be used, would have to be excluded from any punctuation bans.
-- DrBob, May 30 2001

I like the idea of the exclamation ellipsis. The problem, of course, is that it too is open to abuse. A person who uses it once is likely to reoffend several more times in a fairly short space.

I agree with DrBob on this one - it's almost always tacked onto the end of something that the writer thought was amusing. Generally though, I find these to be among the least interesting and amusing comments I'm sent, e.g. "I got so drunk last night I was sick everywhere!!! Then I fell down the stairs and was sick some more!!!!!"
-- -alx, May 31 2001

Or one email that I saw posted on a website after someone suggested that n.sync was less than stellar, she had a line and a half of: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

after every anguished exclamation of 'How can you say that'.

I think the new version of AOL software should prevent this, along with more than one 'lol'...ever.
-- StarChaser, May 31 2001

I'm against anything that hampers creative expression. Imagine how pissed you would be if you were Terry Pratchett writing "Maskerade" and you had to work around this thing? Or if you were FT Marinetti, or Stan Lee? Besides, preventing overuse of exclamation points isn't going to make someone's annoying comment any less annoying.

Also, if software becomes pedantic and intrusive, it will just make people more lazy in their use of language, not less. Why spell or punctuate correctly when your computer is going to do it for you anyway?
-- ejs, Jun 01 2001

I agree with [ejs]'s second point ; if spell- and grammar-checkers were illegal, and we comprehensively mocked any incidences of incorrect or poor spelling and grammar (at the same time explaining *why* they were wrong), these skills would improve.
-- angel, Jun 01 2001

// preventing overuse of exclamation points isn't going to make someone's annoying comment any less annoying //

I beg to differ.
-- -alx, Jun 01 2001

Let's try it out then:

I got so drunk last night I was sick everywhere!!!


I got so drunk last night I was sick everywhere!

Well, whaddya know [-alx]? You were right!(!!) Although, then again, the first one does make it sound like literally everywhere, so I suppose it could be used if you somehow managed to vomit over the entire universe. Although you wouldn't need to tell people then, I think they'd know
-- CoolerKing, Jun 01 2001

Personally, if I were the type to want to tell everyone of my *hilarious* alcohol-related vomiting incidents, I would favour:

"I got so drunk last night I was sick everywhere."

Mind you, that's because I prefer a bit of understatement/subtlety - one exclamation mark would be too much for me, though it's fine by me if other people want to use it.
-- -alx, Jun 01 2001

I didn't say ALL software, just AOL's.
-- StarChaser, Jun 02 2001

I'd be happier with the suggestion if it could substitute underused symbols for the offending exclamation marks - ampersands, carets and obeli, say - though I'm not sure how this would help. I just happen to be a fan of ampersands, carets and obeli.
-- Shatner's Bassoon, Jun 03 2001

Anyone working in an office can program another users MS word to autocorrect "!!!" to "!this idiot typed loads of '!!!'s"

Amazing how few people would know how to turn it off.....
-- CasaLoco, Jun 03 2001

LOL @ StarChaser ROFLMAO ROOFTLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL
-- AfroAssault, Jun 04 2001

The question mark could also be used to denote AII (Australian Interrogative Inflexion) - the raising of the voice at the end of every damn sentence so that everything sounds like a question. Particularly prevalent among certain UK age-groups. It has been blamed on the popularity during the late 80's of Australian soaps.
Then our test sentences become even more annoying:

I got so drunk last night I was sick everywhere?
Then I fell down the stairs and was sick some more?
-- hippo, Jun 14 2001

I think preventative measures should be taken to avoid this linguistic offence crossing the boundary into punctuation. Unfortunately, I think it will take more than a simple computer key, should this problem ever arise.
-- -alx, Jun 14 2001

Aren't you Australian, UnaBubba? If so, do you do a lot of uncontrolled cringing?
-- hippo, Jun 14 2001

Hmm - UnaBubba? You there?
-- hippo, Aug 13 2001

Would that be a Saaf Lunnun accent, Rods?
-- hippo, Aug 20 2001

Kind of like me and southern US accents...<shudder>
-- StarChaser, Aug 20 2001

Maybe the tips of the offending punctuation (the keys on the keyboard, that is) can be made from some sort of metal and rigged up to a machine which, upon sensing the incorrect use of the exclamation or question mark, can deliver a small electric shock. If the offender uses it more and more, the shock becomes larger and larger (to a point). Much like Pavlov's dog was trained to expect food, we can be trained to not break grammatical rules.
-- sdm, Aug 23 2001

Are we happy with the word "punctuative"?
-- Gordon Comstock, Aug 23 2001

I tend to think that the over-use of exclamation marks - which usually goes hand in hand with Random CAPITALISATION Syndrome [insert multiple exclamation marks here, for effect] - is a good indicator of the fevered and lunatic state of the mind which produced aforesaid grammatical abominations. We *need* to allow these breaches of linguistic convention and internet etiquette, if only because of their function as warning signs... somewhat like a textual equivalent of UnaBubba's Angry Young Man Hat. In fact, if we all adopted the Spanish convention cited by AndyKnott then we would be forewarned of the absurdly hyperbolic assertion at the very start of the sentence.
-- Guy Fox, Aug 23 2001

[Mephista] Good idea...lots of annoying pop-ups for people who don't know when to stop hitting that exclamation key...perhaps something along the lines of that paperclip, or those animals, that pester you to help write your letters. "Pedanticat", anyone?

[Gordon Comstock] The OED is, which is normally good enough for me.
-- -alx, Aug 23 2001

'Punctuative' would be good even if OED didn't agree. It's one of those words which ought to exist. I'm less happy with 'need not just be tolerated'. Surely it should be 'just need not be tolerated', otherwise we are being asked to do something *as well as* tolerating it.
I'm also slightly uncomfortable with [Mephista]'s 'explanation points' but I know what she means.
-- angel, Aug 23 2001

Hmm...I think I agree with you about that one...(corrected)
-- -alx, Aug 23 2001

I agree! Totally!
-- thumbwax, Jan 23 2006

If I had a punctuation mark even weaker than a period I'd use it _ my life is too unexciting even for them
-- phundug, Jan 23 2006

You have my "+"
-- Dumb But Tough, Jan 23 2006

"So, I was like !!. And she was all ???!!. Anyway, what-ever!!!"
-- Minimal, Jan 23 2006

There's a place for them, as noted, at the end of exclamatory sentences. I recommend banning them altogether, except for those who have been granted a license after having been instructed in their use. Part of the requirement of maintaining that license will be to keep an account of each exclamation point used. This account would need to be notarized for each entry.
-- hubby2debbie, Jan 23 2006

random, halfbakery