exclamation points by themselves in a message from Helmand meant it could very well be a matter of life and death.
When the Iraqis resume shouting and wailing at you, Hassan translates every exclamation until you tell him to stop.
The other day, I received a red-hot email alert with an exclamation point next to the name of the sender.
late 14c., from Middle French exclamation, from Latin exclamationem (nominative exclamatio), noun of action from past participle stem of exclamare "cry out loud" (see exclaim).
The punctuation symbol known as the exclamation point (1824) or exclamation mark (1926) was earliest called an exclamation note or note of exclamation (1650s), earlier note of admiration (1610s). Another name for it was shriek-mark (1864).