4

In this article, I found the following sentence:

Specifically, Hello, which was U+0048 U+0065 U+006C U+006C U+006F, will be stored as 48 65 6C 6C 6F, which, behold! is the same as it was stored in ASCII, and ANSI, and every OEM character set on the planet.
(emphasis added)

The exclamation mark appears in the middle of a sentence, and from the context, it clearly doesn't end the preceding sentence and start a new one. Now consider below:

  1. Behold this! It is a carrot.
  2. Behold this! for it is a carrot.

It looks like 1. consists of two sentences, and 2. consists of a single sentence, with the exclamation mark.

Are both these usages correct? What is the rule regarding when an exclamation mark ends a sentence, and when it doesn't?

  • 2
    You'd think he'd fix his article, since it's been out of date almost as long as it's been online and people still refer to it in 2015... – snailboat Apr 27 '15 at 10:40
1

Generally an exclamation mark means the end of a sentence. However, in a few unusual cases it can be used for emphasis in the middle of a sentence, like in your first example, where it has a slightly comedic, overdramatic effect as it imitates Biblical language.

See https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/25232/exclamation-marks-in-the-middle-of-a-sentence for more examples.

0

Yes, an exclamation point marks the end of a sentence, when used correctly. The example did not use it correctly. The punctuation doesn't seem to flow properly; however, we can discern what the writer meant.

How could he have properly used the exclamation point, and still placed it in mid-sentence? Like this:

Hello, which was....wll be stored as....which (Behold!) is the same as...

Thus the exclamation is a complete, punctuated sentence, encapsulated as a parenthetical remark within the main sentence.

As for your carrot examples: #1 is good; #2 is not. Especially when you start with "behold", the exclamation makes a complete sentence. Or you could try "Behold—a carrot!

  • The carrot example is taken from Rowan Atkinson's stand-up comedy act "Amazing Jesus". :) – Masked Man Feb 26 '15 at 11:14

protected by Community Jun 30 '15 at 21:37

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.