Interjections


Darn! It’s the last of the major parts of speech: the interjection.

Interjection (i.)

An interjection is a word or group of words that express strong or sudden emotions. When something is interjected into a conversation, it interrupts the exchange. It is easy to understand the appeal of interjections; most of us use them throughout the day. Then again, many interjections are words not fit for most publications.

Interjections can be weak, mild, or strong. This scale applies in two ways: intensity of emotion and intensity of language. Profanity is “strong language” but for some people a profane word is used to express weak emotional intensity. Interjections have to be judged by their speakers, not by the words alone.

Some Interjections

Examples of single-word interjections:

aha, bad, cool, darn, fiddlesticks, fudge, help, hey, hot, huh, oh, oops, wow, and yeah.

A phrase acting as an interjection:

Great Caesar’s ghost!

Warning! Danger Ahead!

As students, we are advised to use exclamation points with interjections. Writers should learn to stifle the urge and use periods when possible. This does not mean interjections themselves should be artificially avoided. If a character or narrator (also a character, do not forget) would use an interjection, then write it.


Sources

Scholastic Writer’s Desk Reference. New York: Scholastic, 2000. (ISBN: 0439216508)

Christ, Henry I. Modern English in Action, Ten. Boston: D. C. Heath and Co, 1965.

Ellsworth, Blanche and John A. Higgens. English Simplified. 10th ed. New York: Pearson Education, 2004. (ISBN: 0321104293)

Hacker, Diana. The Bedford Handbook. 5th ed. Boston: Bedford, 1998. (ISBN: 0312247567)

Hacker, Diana. Pocket Style Manual. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2004. (ISBN: 0312406843)

Mulvey, Dan. Grammar the Easy Way. Hauppauge, N.Y: Barron's, 2002. (ISBN: 0764119893)

Rozakis, Laurie E. Grammar and Style. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to. New York: Simon & Schuster, Alpha Books, 1997. (ISBN: 0028619560)

Shertzer, Margaret. The Elements of Grammar. New York: MacMillian Publishing, 1986. (ISBN: 0020154402)

Strunk, William and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 3rd ed. New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1959. Reprint 1979. (ISBN: 0024182001)



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Writer: C. S. Wyatt
Updated: 30-Nov-2013
Editor: S. D. Schnelbach