6. Purpose of the Upside Down Exclamation
i) Upside down exclamation points (¡) are used at the start of an explamatory statement in Spanish, Catalan, and other languages influenced by Spanish.
ii) In these languages, the upside down exclamation s used in conjunction with the right side up exclamation. The upside down exclamation is used at the start of an exclamatory sentence, and the right side up exclamation is used at the end. A Spanish reader can quickly tell that a phrase is an exclamation before reaching the end.
iii) Here's an example of an exclamation in Spanish: ¡Qué interesante! (English: How intresting!)
iv) Intrestingly, the upside down exclamation point was not always used in Spanish. The Real Academia, an institution in Madrid responsible for overseeing the Spanish language, recomended the use of the upside down exclamation point in the 18th century. Eventually, it was widely adopted.