TOM WOLFE AND THE EXCLAMATION POINT. I would have thought that Tom Wolfe would win a competition for the heaviest user of exclamation points because he loves descriptions from the point of view of an excited onlooker. In looking for examples of Wolfe’s style, I found this article about Wolfe by Michael Lewis which quotes the first sentence of Wolfe’s breakthrough essay about California car culture: “There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored (Thphhhhhhh!) Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby Around the Bend (Brummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm) . . . . . . ”

The Lewis article also contains a quote which shows that Wolfe loved the exclamation point from early on. This is from a letter to his mother and father in 1943 when he was 12: “I hate to say this but David McDaniel is the most devlish looking and the most devlish acting person I’ve ever seen. He looks like the typical “comic book” Jap. He is short—not over 4’2”—has a very, very, very, very short monkey’s shave—high cheekbones—squinted eyes—wears glasses—a stubby nose—a toothy grin—and to top it all, he actually has pointed teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!” That’s eleven exclamation points.

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