1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Shouting punctuation question

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Alesia, Mar 20, 2013.

    I feel dumb for asking, but when shouting is involved in dialogue I/E a shouted question, does it end in ? or !

    "What's wrong with you!"

    vs

    "What's wrong with you?"
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's still a question... so it's probably best to keep it as one and indicate in some other way that the person is shouting... not necessarily by a banal 'he shouted' dialog tag... in other words, show us, rather than tell us...
     
  3. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Couldn't you use both? "What's wrong with you?!" looks weird huh? "What's wrong with you!?" weirder? pffft
     
  4. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I thought about it, but I didn't think it was grammatically correct.
     
  5. mattbsmith
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    mattbsmith Member

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    I am subscribing to this thread..

    because I want to see the answer too. Good question.
     
  6. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    Don't use both. Do what mammamaia says: show it. Get the character pissed off at someone and the reader will know he/she's yelling.
     
  7. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't use punctuation to indicate volume or emotion. Use the context around the dialogue. Bathing the recipient in a fine spray of spittle certainly conveys in-your-face shouting. So does slamming the recipient's shoulders against the wall. If the speaker's face is apple-red and her fists are clenched, she's probably not calm and serene.

    Context is far more interesting, and more finely adjustable, than pointy punctuation.
     
  8. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    nice...
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the 'interrobang' is not acceptable punctuation...
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unless you're writing copy for tacky, flashy 4-color advertisements for discount furniture or used cars.
     

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