A friend of mine is bothered by the absence of a standard English punctuation mark that captures something in the emotional spectrum between the matter of fact period and what one might call the “sincere exclamation point.”
Example of the latter:
Thanks for pulling me out of that burning bus!
It troubles him that we also have to make do with what might be termed the hyper-inflationary exclamation point, i.e., thanks for getting me a copy of that memo!
Shouldn’t, he wonders, there be something in between? (I suppose internet emoticons are a manifestation of this urge, but you can’t put a blinking smiley face in formal written texts — not yet anyway, LOL!)
Are there languages that have gradations between the stern “.” and the effusive “!” ?
And what would a good intermediate punctuation mark look like?
. . . does the Japanese “neh” perform something like this function?