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Exclamations, pointedly

Posted by Bob on June 19, 2001

In Reply to: Brattitude and queries posted by R. Berg on June 17, 2001

: : Just heard this expression/phrase. Thought I'd share. The reference was to a member of the hip-hop generation.

: : Being someone just a shade younger than the Woodstock generation, I find myself wondering if the kids currently in their 20s are any more immature, impudent, obdurate, or sarcastic than previous generations of young people. Must say I find this question as interesting to contemplate as the phrase -- maybe more so. - Patty

: I try not to generalize, as members of each generation vary. Still, I think young people now are more pessimistic than young people back then; they have less reason to believe the future will improve on the present. And every time I see a query posted here that looks like this:

: what does this word mean????!!!! need help please!!!!!!!!!!!

: I can't avoid thinking "Teenager."

Right you are. The use of the ! is rampant among the post-literate young, who cannot find words of sufficient power and precision to express themselves. Feeble ideas and shopworn phrases (borrowed from television) are propped up with the artificial crutches of extraneous punctuation, underscoring, all-cap shouting, and similar crimes. The math is simple 1 vigorous verb + 1 carefully-selected noun = ! x 1000