Mamma Mia had one. So did Moulin Rouge and WHAM. Musicals, in fact adore them, with Oliver and Oklahoma each getting their slice of the action. As did Keating and Hello Dolly.
I'm talking about the exclamation mark, that stand-up, shout-out piece of punctuation that stabs the modern message. There's Jeopardy! and Yahoo! And the gossip mag OK!
Back in 1972, when Grease was the word, it didn't need an exclamation mark. The word was enough. Not now.
Nicknamed "screamers" by printers, exclamation marks are cold sores of the keyboard. One peck and the itch goes deeper. Germans have the right idea, using the symbol as a warning on autobahns, a shorthand tip to steer well clear.
As a kid I played a board game called Sorry! and failed to suspect contagion. Help! sang the Beatles, and we never lifted a finger.
Before 1970 the exclamation mark was a three-key operation - full-stop, backspace, then the apostrophe - but that would be unthinkable in these emphatic times.
Research suggests the punctuation to be ironic, a wink at a trend among comedies such as Airplane! and Run, Fatboy, Run!
F.Scott Fitzgerald said "An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke."
"When my sonnet was rejected, I exclaimed, 'Damn the age; I will write for Antiquity!'"
~~ Charles Lamb English Critic, Poet and Essayist, 1775-1834
This is my sweet Miss Ellie relaxing on the BBQ January 2010
This photo I feel could warrant an exclamation mark or two!!
2 hours ago