Now, I never do this, but in some few cases I have seen people use multiple exclamation (or question) marks like this:


Is that orthographically correct? (Or just okay). In case it is, how many marks are grammatically allowed/accepted?

  • 4
    @kiamlaluno: Nah, I am not asking about ordering the usage of two punctuation marks. I am asking about the quantity to be used when reiterating just one (and if it is allowed in the first place).
    – Saturn
    Feb 7, 2011 at 0:13
  • 1
    The answer you will get is probably the same the other question has got. A sentence has just a single terminal punctation mark, and the use of multiple [question|exclamation] marks is done for emphasis.
    – apaderno
    Feb 7, 2011 at 0:40
  • 3
    – user13141
    Dec 8, 2011 at 7:20
  • It is not grammar it is punctuation...???
    – GEdgar
    Dec 8, 2011 at 13:47

7 Answers 7


'Multiple exclamation marks,' he went on, shaking his head, 'are a sure sign of a diseased mind.'

-- Eric, Terry Pratchett

More on this subject on the Discworld and Pratchett Wiki.

It's just for added emphasis. I do not believe it is strictly grammatically correct, but then using ALLCAPS is not, but people do that too, emphasis once again.

  • 4
    Only because it is so difficult to introduce nuance into written text, and speech relies so heavily on nuance.
    – jcolebrand
    Feb 7, 2011 at 0:35
  • @drachenstern: Entirely, I use all manner of creative embellishments in my writing, particularly when chatting to someone online. Emphasis is not innately wrong, but when punctuation gets involved, can breach standard grammatical rules.
    – Orbling
    Feb 7, 2011 at 0:38
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    Emphasis. Okay =D
    – Saturn
    Feb 10, 2011 at 0:56

It's fine in informal communication, email, poetry, and advertising headlines. Three would be most common. Two, four, or more is rarer.

It's never "officially" correct. The people who write books about how punctuation should be used in English tolerate only two levels of enthusiasm: not enthusiastic and enthusiastic. The idea that somebody might be very enthusiastic is too alarming to contemplate.

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    The problem is that repeating the same punctuation only reiterates the same level of enthusiasm. It does not indicate a greater level of enthusiasm any more than "enthusiasm enthusiasm enthusiasm" does. Feb 7, 2011 at 2:17
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    Please don't lump poetry in with email and advertising headlines. Joel, you're killin' me!!!!!!
    – Robusto
    Feb 7, 2011 at 2:26
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    +1 for a generally informative answer and a wonderful rundown of the “official” standard. You remind me of Lord Neeves’ lovely A lyric for Saturday Night: “… We can't for a certainty tell // What mirth may molest us on Monday; // But, at least, to begin the week well, // Let us all be unhappy on Sunday. // …”
    – PLL
    Feb 7, 2011 at 4:50
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    In conventional English punctuation, a drowning man shouts "Help!". Given this, what can one infer about the mental state of someone who writes "Hi!!!!!"? :-) Feb 7, 2011 at 7:21
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    A google search has shown that exactly 9 exclamations points have never appeared, but 8 and 10 have. The research on 15 and above has not been completed yet.
    – Mitch
    Nov 6, 2011 at 22:50


At least not for grammatical purposes. More than one exclamation mark doesn't have any meaning. An exclamation doesn't get more "exclamationy" by more marks.

Of course, you could still use them, but the interpretation would be entirely up to the reader. Use of punctuation that doesn't have any grounds in grammar would be more like decoration.

I've seen people invent their own style of punctuation,,,like tripple commas,,,but that of course doesn't have any meaning either,,,it mostly makes the person look unstable...

Multiple exclamation marks are sometimes seen in leetspeek, often intermixed with intentional mistakes in the form of 1, one or eleven:


  • 1
    "exclamationy" → exclamatory?
    – Jon Purdy
    Feb 7, 2011 at 1:04
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    @kiamilaluno: Thanks, that was a typo. (Strange, this is the only forum I ever encountered where pointing out typos isn't considered rude... ;)
    – Guffa
    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:06
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    @downvoters: Why the downvote? If you don't explain what you think is wrong, it can't improve the answer.
    – Guffa
    Feb 7, 2011 at 7:12
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    I didn't down vote this answer, and I think the down vote should be explained. Maybe it is because the sentence containing punctuation,,,like is not clearly marked as example, and who (partially) read the answer understood you were saying that is a correct use of the commas. Of course, I cannot say that is the exact reason.
    – apaderno
    Feb 7, 2011 at 9:14
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    If you refer to style guides it's very plain that multiple exclamations is never accepted in professional copy. This answer addresses "grammaticality" which is not something that most texters and Facebook-ers appear to care much about. And I liked your invented work "exclamationy". Not sure why people get so uptight.
    – shawnt00
    Oct 15, 2015 at 16:04

"Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have a knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful." (Elmore Leonard)


One is enough to convey your feelings in conventional English but people seem to be taking it symbolically to mark the full intensity of their emotion and playing with it sometimes putting more than three exclamatory marks for a simple wish; However, we do not take care of it when it comes to conversation.


Punctuation isn’t grammar. Where and how often you use exclamation marks and how many you use at any one time is a matter of stylistic judgement. There will rarely be a need for any at all in an academic paper. If, on the other hand, you’re writing the captions and speech bubbles for a comic strip, let your maxim be, the more the better.

  • I don't think of punctuation as grammar either but school teachers, students, and copy editors probably wouldn't make much of a distinction since they would change things either way. As to number of marks, that most likely is a rule in the rule books, which most take to be the rules of grammar.
    – Mitch
    Nov 6, 2011 at 22:47
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    @Mitch: Most linguists consider grammar to be morphology and syntax. If you extend the term much wider it becomes meaningless. On the point of substance, exclamation marks are indeed most effective when they are few and far between - in formal writing. But much, possibly most, writing isn't formal. I gave the example of a comic strip. Another is computer mediated communication, where multiple exclamation marks, alongside emoticons and other signs, can support the writer's intention in the way that paralanguage does in speech. Nov 7, 2011 at 9:24

No. Stop. Period. End. That's it.
Do all those extras add to the meaning that I say No and no more than that, grammatically?
Same with exclamation marks, I guess. Or else it would undermine the power of the Wonder mark.

  • 1
    From my experience, I have come to recognize the use of more than one consecutive ! or ? as coming from a teenager, who is also not a serious student of English.
    – Kris
    Dec 8, 2011 at 6:43

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