How-To Geek


Which Punctuation Mark Didn’t Have A Dedicated Key Until The 1970s?
The Question Mark
The Comma
The Apostrophe
The Exclamation Point

Answer: The Exclamation Point

The exclamation point was introduced in 15th century by printers looking for a way to denote a sense of wonderment or exclamation with a punctuation mark. It has remained in continuous usage, although with variation in meaning and usage, ever since. Despite its lengthy history of use it wasn’t until a century after the introduction of the typewriter that the exclamation point got a dedicated key.

Prior to the mid-1970s, typists who wanted to insert an exclamation point into their text were forced to type a period, hit the back space key, and strike an apostrophe over the period to form a makeshift exclamation point.

Bonus Trivia: Other characters that were, historically, given the cold shoulder by typewriter designers include the number one and zero. Early typists used the lowercase L and the uppercase O to denote 1 and 0.

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