The UK have issued new guidelines to teachers to clamp down the usage of exclamation marks on what they perceive as its over-use by youngsters influenced by social media.
According to the latest guidelines, sentences ending with an exclamation mark can be marked correct only if they begin with “How” or “What” when teachers assess students’ written work this summer.
“What a lovely day!” and “How exciting!” are two of the examples contained in a detailed booklet setting out how this year’s spelling, grammar and punctuation tests and assessments should be marked, The Sunday Times reported.
“A sentence that ends in an exclamation mark, but which does not have one of the grammatical patterns shown above, is not considered to be creditworthy as an exclamation,” according to the new guidelines.
However, teachers say young children use exclamation marks all the time especially in text messages.
They warn the guidance may deter seven-year-olds from writing creatively. They also say the books that children read are filled with such marks. John Sutherland, author of ‘How Good Is Your Grammar?’, told the newspaper: “I think the guidance is ridiculous.
It is quite impossible to follow these instructions. “Exclamation marks are interpretative and they depend on knowing the contextual situation in which the speech takes place. It is nonsense of the highest degree.” “A high-quality education in English and the ability to communicate effectively is an important part of the government’s commitment to extend opportunity to all, the UK’s Department for Education said.