Arabic Fiction and the Exclamation Mark


First, I must admit that I have not read a lot of Arabic fiction. But from what I read, and especially what I’m reading right now (A World without Maps by Jabra and Munif), there seems to be an overuse of the exclamation mark. It’s an excessive overuse!

A quick google search about exclamation marks and fiction will result in a barrage of articles and pages recommending to avoid using it, never to use, or that using it is a sign of a lazy author or an amateur.

So why is it still used in Arabic fiction?

One would assume that Jabra and Munif who are professionals by every definition, if not masters of the craft, would have been able to convey exclamations without relying on the dreaded mark.

I would like to leave you with a couple of questions. Is there an overuse of the exclamation marks in Arabic fiction, or is it just a case of an availability bias based on the very little I read? Is this overuse indicative of the (for lack of a better word) inferiority of Arabic fiction, or is it simply a product of the Arabic language?



Filed under Ramblings

2 responses to “Arabic Fiction and the Exclamation Mark

  1. mlynxqualey

    I think it’s just a tic of the language; it only seems like overuse if you’re coming from the expectations of another language. Also not just ! but !! and !? and !!!

    • You’re probably right. And according to wikipedia, the exclamation mark is used for more reasons in Arabic. Like calling out to someone,
      But it would be interesting to see if English had at some point in the past an overuse of the exclamation point that slowly dwindled down to the point it is now.

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