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  • Personally This Troper (and this is just my opinion) don't really get why people use Characterization tags for at least three reasons:
    • It's too informal, more informal for the most common internet slang LOL.
    • Everytime I read one, it comes out as a sudden stop, as "!" are meant to be used in formal writing. For example, Future!Bob is like "Future! Bob." to me.
    • Why bother to use a "!" when you have the spacebar right under your two thumbs (if you're typing right) instead of using the shift key and pressing the one button with your left pinky finger. Future Bob serves the same purpose than Future!Bob.
      • But you don't have to take my word for it. This is my opinion.
  • Here are some reasons for why the tags are used:
    • If you use a space, it looks like a name/title. Like we're talking about someone called "Future Bob" instead of "the version of 'Bob' who comes from the future". It's a convenient notation.
    • I'm not big into fandom, but I always assumed the exclamation was supposed to indicate that "I am giving this character a trait that they don't normally exhibit and isn't that exciting!"
    • The exclamation mark as a delimiter is a remnant from addresses during the Internet's primordial ooze stage. As for why to use them? Rule of Funny, hammering in facetious labels is a time-honored means of belittlement.
      • Wait, what? Fanfic-originated bang paths are based on UUCP addresses?
  • What's really stupid is I've been seeing these for months and only just now have I found an actual explanation. I thought it was just some bizarre typo or coding bug.
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