The month May has rolled around, and therefore, I will be doing the MAPLE (May Acquires Posts Logged Everyday) daily blogging challenge that I came to last year. As a reminder, here are the parameters:
1) Each post must be at least 50 words long (exceptions are allowed).
2) I am not allowed to spend more than 30 minutes composing the post.
3) I am allowed to use the “draft” in order to stockpile material if needed.
The title of this post is “(!)”. Interestingly, THIS post is a stockpiled post from a while ago. When I was doing my cryptic numbers for Facebook in order to hint at my return to Lincoln over Passover, my first post was this, from March 18:
“T-plus (!) 163 hours for 148.”
The part that intrigued me was the (!) in the middle of the sentence. That notation tends to be used to indicate surprise, amazement, or other points that may require an exclamation point there. In this case, the (!) was used to indicate that plus was not the expected word. Or at least when I see the construct “T-<operator> <number> <unit>” (Hey, that gives me another interesting idea…), I expect the <operator> to be “minus” instead of “plus.”
Another reason that (!) is used seems to be expressing a powerful number, something that would possibly take someone aback. For example, I could mention that on January 1, 1998, the temperature climbed to 60(!) Fahrenheit in Lincoln. (And it did!) The important thing is that (!) seems to be context- or background-dependent. It is actually quite interesting.
Furthermore, sometimes it seems unnecessary when we have other ways of emphasizing things that the (!) might indicate. We could underline, bold, or italicize (I advertently(!) mismatched those to drive the point home.)
As you know, however, I love the punctuation marks to be used as emphasis.
Today is the first day of MAPLE, round two.
היום ששה ושלושים יום. שהם חמישה שבועות ויום אחד לעמר.
I am participating in the Walk Now For Autism Speaks with Northwestern. Please support my cause and donate to Autism Speaks via this link: http://www.walknowforautismspeaks.org/chicago/noah121
Any amount helps!