!

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Synonyms: bang, exclamation point, adjective!noun
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An exclamation mark (sometimes called a bang) between two words denotes a trait!character relationship between them, especially between a character and a trait of that character. For example, CAPSLOCK!Harry refers to Harry Potter shouting in capslock during much of The Order of the Phoenix, while Femme!Blair would refer to a characterization of Blair behaving in fanfiction in a way some might consider stereotypically effeminate.

The bang relationship can also be used in the noun!fic form, referring to things like wing!fic, crack!fic, rape!fic and so on. However, in this case, it's usually also acceptable to omit the exclamation mark and make it one word, which does not happen for trait!character expressions.

Origins

The adj!noun format is purported to have started in X-Files fandom. Good examples for this are Wombat's Spotter's Guide to the Common Krycek and the accompanying Spotter's Guide to the Common Mulder where several Krycek sub-species such as Bad to the Bone!Krycek, Bad but Lovin'!Krycek, Hot'n'dirty!Krycek or Misunderstood!Krycek and Mulder sub-subspecies such as Angst!Mulder, Basketcase!Mulder, HappySlut!Mulder, Sensitive!Mulder and WellAdjusted!Mulder are described. The first usage was Action!Mulder, referring to canon scenes where Mulder suddenly went all actiony (instead of talky), followed by Saint!Scully. Eventually they lost the initial capitals and the canon connections; by the time it hit other fandoms, it was being used to describe fannish things.[1]

Some believe that the use of the exclamation mark came originally from coding, particularly javascript, where it has the meaning of "not". Thus, Saint!Scully would essentially mean, a characterization (in fanworks) of Scully as a saint which diverges from who Scully really is in the show. This possible origin remains obscure, though, and this belief about the bang appears nowadays quite rare.

References

  1. Talk:!
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