#4987. 英語の感嘆符の使いすぎ批判は19世紀から[exclamation_mark][punctuation][complaint_tradition]


 昨日の記事「#4986. 日本語で増えてきている感嘆符」 ([2022-12-21-1]) で,日本語における感嘆符の用法を確認した.昨今のネット上での日本語使用では感嘆符が飽きるほど使われているが,そういう私自身もついつい用いてしまう.しかし,この傾向は,昨日の記事にも記した通り,山田美妙の生きた19世紀後半からあったにはあったのだ.
 英語ではどうかといえば,やはり感嘆符を多用してしまう傾向は避けがたかったようで,使いすぎ批判は現代を待たずとも19世紀からあったという.Crystal (177) が英語の句読点に関する本で次のように述べている.Mark Twain (1835-1910) も登場してくる.

   No other punctuation mark has attracted such criticism in modern times as the exclamation mark. The antagonism isn't restricted to pedantic stylists. Some very well-known authors have taken against them. Mark Twain opens his essay 'How to Tell a Story' (1897) by warning comic writers against the depressing habit of shouting at the reader, including the use of 'whooping exclamation-points', which, he says, makes him 'want to renounce joking and lead a better life'. And there's a much-quoted remark attributed to F Scott Fitzgerald: 'Cut out all these exclamation points', adding 'An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.' Repeated marks attract particular criticism. One of the characters in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Eric (1990) insists that 'Multiple exclamation marks are a sure sign of a diseased mind.'
   The antipathy seems to have set in during the late nineteenth century, as part of a general feeling that writers, editors, and printers had rather overdone their preference for heavy punctuation. We see exclamation marks littering the pages in editions of Shakespeare, for instance. Take this line from Romeo and Juliet when the Nurse tries to wake Juliet (4.5.12). Modern editions (such as Arden, Oxford, Penguin) print it thus:

      What, dressed, and in your clothes, and down again?

   The Albion edition of the plays (1889) prints it thus:

      What, dress'd! and in your clothes! and down again!


 ・ Crystal, David. Making a Point: The Pernickety Story of English Punctuation. London: Profile Books, 2015.

Referrer (Inside): [2023-08-26-1] [2022-12-23-1]

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