A Style Guide

16 April 2001

From Ap­pen­dix XIII of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, 9th Edition–a style guide:

8. Ex­cla­ma­tion mark

This is used after an ex­clam­a­tory word, phrase, or sen­tence ex­press­ing any of the following:

8.1 Absurdity:

What an idea!

8.2 Command or warning:

Go to your room!
Be careful!

8.3 Con­tempt or disgust:

They are revolting!

8.4 Emotion or pain:

I hate you!
That really hurts!

8.5 Enthusiasm:

I’d love to come!

8.6 Wish or regret:

Let me come!
If only I could swim!

8.7 Wonder, admiration, or surprise:

What a good idea!
Aren’t they beautiful!

[Note that each use is equally-well il­lus­trated by the simpler, and more straight-forward Fuck!, with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of 8.2 (Fuck off! better?) and 8.5 (Fuck yeah! better?).]