Are ending punctuation marks used appropriately in these sentences? Explain why or why not. The sentences have been numbered to aid in your comments:
(1) One famous eighteenth-century Thoroughbred racehorse was named Potoooooooo, or Pot-8-Os! (2) He was a chestnut colt bred by Willoughby Bertie, 4th Earl of Abingdon, in 1773, and he was known for his defeat of some of the greatest racehorses of the time. (3) With a well-to-do background like this, where do you suppose his strange name came from.
(4) The horse once has a stable lad, who facetiously misspelled Potatoes. (5) Apparently, the owner thought the misspelling was funny enough to adopt it as the horse’s real name!
Sentence 3 should end with a question mark: it’s a direct question.
Sentence 5 may or may not need an exclamation point. It depends on two different things: the context of the writing and the amount of emphasis you want to put on the sentence. How much emphasis you want is up to you: do you think the fact is amusing enough to have an exclamation point? The context you’re writing in will be a more objective criterion to help you make your decision. In a formal academic setting, such as an English paper, the exclamation point would likely feel out of place. However, if you were writing on your personal semi-professional blog, the exclamation point would probably fit in just fine.