Speaking from the plebe camp, please don’t take this wrong. I am just trying to learn. I was under the impression that ALL CAPS was shouting (at least in the online writing world—I don’t like to use them), and exclamation points were simply emphasis.

The Apple dictionary defines exclamation: “a sudden cry or remark, especially expressing surprise, anger, or pain.” So an exclamation point would emphasize (in my mind) the anger the Sergeant is feeling.

I wouldn’t exclamation points on both move rights, but I would probably use one after dammit.

Here is what seems right to me (in my admittedly amateur writer mind.)

The Sergeant cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “move right, move right dammit!”

I might even take it further and break the Sergeants words into two sentences:

The Sergeant cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “Move right. Move right, dammit!”

In my mind, the first move right was shouted, and after there was no response (or slow or wrong response), the second one was shouted in anger. Leaving the exclamation point out seems to lessen the anger—to me.

That’s how I read exclamation points. But I’m weird, so...

But, I completely agree that they are overused. I think Facebook and texting are to blame for most punctuation sins.

Thoughts?

Old bones. Young heart. Focusing on a wide variety of creativity. @markstarlin

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