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Is there a standard ordering for the question mark and the exclamation mark used together?

When writing an exclamation-question like:

What you you mean, I'm fired

Don't you think you've done ENOUGH today

Should you end the sentence with ?!, !? or just !

What's grammatically correct?

What's acceptable for casual usage (where grammar is less important)?

Is it just preference?

WHAT'S THE ANSWER?! <-- my preference

  • 1
    This question is a duplicate of english.stackexchange.com/questions/531/…
    – nohat
    Sep 2, 2010 at 22:50
  • Just in case anybody wonders how @nohat managed to close-vote this twice: his real name is Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris.
    – RegDwigнt
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:13
  • It's pretty awesome, but the story is mundane. I voted to close before I got my mod privileges. Then I voted to close after I got my mod privileges. The first vote was a non-decisive regular-user close vote. The second vote is a decisive mod close vote that closed the question right then and there.
    – nohat
    Oct 14, 2010 at 15:46

1 Answer 1


Well, there is the linguists approach and then there is the standard, formal written English approach. A linguist would just say that double punctuation exists and probably varies based on pragmatic issues, for example, if the text is both a question and emphatic.

If you want to write standard, formal written English, you wouldn't use double or multiple final punctuation, or all caps for that matter.

And since you seem to be asking about usage in casual environments, then it depends on what your peers are doing. If you are writing on a internet forum where it is expected and acceptable style, then that the precedent that you follow.

  • 3
    Some Internet communities I frequent are in love with the interrobang.
    – RegDwigнt
    Sep 2, 2010 at 22:11
  • 2
    I use the Unicode character for the interrobang on the occasion that I use such a sentence online. I use it (partly to show off :-p), mostly to expose people to Unicode—particularly North Americans who are used to using the Plain-Jane Latin alphabet with no diacritics (basic ASCII), and are unaware of the fact that there is a whole, wide world of language out there beyond their little sphere of knowledge. I figure that it will occasionally spark someone’s curiosity and get them to look into it and learn something.
    – Synetech
    Mar 1, 2011 at 21:22

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