Most of the effort in preparing this is in the image. It shows the number of times per year that exclamation points appeared on the front cover of Car magazine.
The reason I have chosen to analyse Car is that I have a continuous collection from 1998 to hand. I might later go and do a control and see how other magazines’ use has changed over time.
I have added to additional thin lines to the main curve. One shows the approximated increase in the use of exclamation points prior to Bauer’s purchase of Car from Emap. The other shows the approximate general trend in the use of the exclamation point after that time. Much of this increase is down to the use of exclamation points in lists of the cars featured in the magazine on the cover. Instead of: BMW M3. Honda Jazz. Audi A4 – this kind of list is now presented as: “BMW M3! Honda Jazz! Audi A4!” (minus the quote marks).
Some months still had no exclamation points at all. In the period up to 2000 some years had no exclamation points at all.
What does this mean?