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! (bang)

The beginning of the Big Bang Theory.

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It's called a "bang" or an "exclamation point" and it's used in lots of different ways. Webster defines it as being used to close questions that are meant to convey extreme emotion, as in "What a great show! Oh my god!"

Geeks, on the other hand, use bangs as delimiters. In the old days, email addresses sometimes used bangs to separate words, like "david!lawrence!uucp@somewhere.outhere" but now, you're more likely to see underscores as delimiters.

They also use it in various flavors of Linux/UNIX to run a program. For example:

! ls -1 /docs/invoice*

Type this, and your machine runs the Unix ls command to list all file names beginning with "invoice" in the /docs directory.

Finally, the yellow bang you see in the Windows Device Manager means that your device is not being recognized properly, and needs either a driver update or removal and reinstallation.



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