Exclamation Question

Hello! Thank you for your mail. Your story was much fun! How did you get the idea?

The above message written in English seems to me quite natural – though I’m not sure, if I could write it like native speakers – at least, if I got such message as above in English, I would find there nothing enthusiastic. How about you?

On the other hand, I feel the message in Japanese (meaning the same) below somewhat peculiar.

こんにちは!メールありがとう。面白いお話でした!どうやって思いついたんですか?

It is too much usage of exclamation and question marks in Japanese, that is deemed peculiar.
Teenagers would not mind. Or, too much usage of such symbols might make Japanese appear somewhat immature. I would like to write for example:

こんにちは。メールありがとう。面白いお話でした。どうやって思いついたのか感心しちゃいました

Maybe in English,

Hello, I’m glad to have your mail. Your story was much fun, indeed. It was admirable, how you got the idea.

In English, the message might seem as cold as ice, without exclamation or question marks…

I’d like to know, how do you feel with such error message?

Installation Aborted!

I really don’t like it. The exclamation mark there seems to me much strong. In Japanese would be worse, because the message blows my nerve more straight:

インストールできません!

In advertisement, usage of exclamation marks would not make it trusted:

とてもすばらしい商品です!

…or, it will give the impression, as if translated from an advertisement overseas “A wonderful item!”.

Exclamation and question marks are often used in Japanese, too, but in my opinion too much usage would not be appropriate.

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2 thoughts on “Exclamation Question

  1. They are often overused in English too! <–pun intended, but maybe not a very good joke … Funny, there are a few authors known for their overuse of the exclamation point. Frank O'Hara, a poet, is one. Maybe too because exclamation points are more rare in poetry than prose. I don't mind them too much if they are used sparingly. They can add humor or help to show the writer is being humorous or friendly.

    • Oh, I smiled finding your pun! You’re right, exclamation and question points (do you often say it “points”? I thought it were “marks”.) should be more effective when used in proper places… I made a search of the poet Frank O’Hara and found a website named frankohara.org. Yeah, he seemed to have a characteristic way of writing poems. Some did not look even a poem at a glance. Interesting.

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