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Hergé’s use of exclamation and question marks?!

#1 · Posted: 24 Mar 2005 14:31
Throughout the Tintin books, Herge had scenes where characters said nothing but (!) and (?). In redrawn versions and in later stories Herge would sometimes draw these remarks with different colors. Was there any pattern in the ways these things were chosen?
UK Correspondent
#2 · Posted: 24 Mar 2005 17:59
I don't think there was a pattern, as such, more an evolution of style. The early ones were simply black bold ? and ! symbols, sometimes a jagged !, and they later moved on to the coloured ones with black outlines. In the final books, the shape of the ? changed to a very angular one :
#3 · Posted: 24 Mar 2005 22:33

But it's also interesting to note that in many cases the question marks and exclamation points could have been used interchangeably. Was that also random?
Moderator Emeritus
#4 · Posted: 25 Mar 2005 09:44
I believe that question marks were used when a character was surprised, whereas exclamation marks were used when a character needed to be completely amazed, or very startled. I think it depends on the degree of surprise.
UK Correspondent
#5 · Posted: 25 Mar 2005 10:46
And I suppose both were used together when someone was horrified, or very very shocked.

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