Counting exclamation marks‼

I’ve noticed that in Japanese it is common to use either one (!) or two (!!) exclamation marks. However in the West we use one (!) or three (!!!) but never two.

I wonder why this might be the case. Wasn’t able to find anything online though. Does anyone have an idea?


… Is it, though?


Yep, it seems this way, although it’s quite hard to look for examples.

I first noticed it when I was travelling in Japan. And then I saw it on the internet. And lastly I got a greetings card from a Japanese friend written in English but with two exclamation marks.

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It’s interesting that you’ve noticed that pattern—I can’t say I notice the same pattern in my life. Idk if it’s a regional thing, but I see two “!!” in native English quite often. I scrolled through my texts, and I feel like I do one or two much more often than three. :woman_shrugging:t2:


Three? I never see more than one in anything formal or professional in English. Friends usually use two or more in text messages or other informal chat with no apparent rule for just how many in a row is natural or necessary. In formal writing, I do see exactly two sometimes, but they’re used to indicate some inline emotive reaction like shock, doubt, or amazement.

Ex: When he finally showed up in his Lamborghini (!!) it already smelled like perfume (!?).


OK, I should clarify that I noticed this in (promotional) signs, titles, greetings (e.g. on cards or posters). I guess in private texting or internet messaging the usage of punctuation is too messy.

Ahh. I’ll keep my eyes peeled (!!) for examples :wink:

Tbh I see the same pattern locally of just 1 or 3 exclamation marks. Maybe it is more local than you think? I live in the Netherlands.


I don’t know how local that is… But even remember writing cards with my mom and at school and we would never even consider writing “!!”. One exclamation mark is the most common. But if you really want to emphasize something or just feep playful you’d go for three of them. Two feels incomplete.

What feels the most natural to you when using exclamation marks?

  • ! or !!!
  • only !
  • ! or !!
  • ! !! !!! !!!111 !?

0 voters


I use ?!! a lot (with added cursive on the exclamation marks), but maybe that’s just here on the forum :thinking:


You know what I find interesting.

We use ?! but not !?


I also find ?! much more natural and is always how I write it… however in manga and other informal japanese writing, I always see !?


I didn’t notice any patterns with !? / ?! usage but as you might’ve noticed I’m leaning towards “!?”.

In fact I don’t think I ever used it the other way around‽

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As for the original question, I’m pretty sure the proper way is to only ever use one exlamation mark and to never mix it with a question mark, at least as far as formal (American) English goes. But I’ve seen !! or !!! in cartoons and advertising and other stuff like that. I kinda feel like ?! or !? is fine because it represents a unique concept, but multiple exclamation marks is kinda tacky outside of internet chats or posts.


While I typically see exclamation points the same as in the original question, there are always going to be exceptions:


(That latter English translation is fine in context.)




When I was in first grade, my teacher taught us to only ever use ! as a singular and never !!! or !! or !!!

Casually with friends I literally just hold !!! for a few seconds (how many ! is that? I’m not counting).

When I think about it, I’m realizing that I’ve been avoiding media a lot in the past couple years and haven’t really seen much that would use ! or !! or !!!

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That’s cause it’s an interrobang, not a banginterro. :stuck_out_tongue:


@Belthazar, I think the image dropped an ’ along the way. Oh, here’s another ’ as well!!!

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It dropped one at the start too, so it’s still balanced. :slightly_smiling_face: