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Question related to mission Stressful Subject

 

(1) In

Any of those "red" words can be spelled in different ways - "HELP", "help", "HeLp", "H!E!L!P!", "H-E-L-P", even in a very loooong way

the cases "H!E!L!P!" and "H-E-L-P" differ: in the former each letter followed by the same character, while in the latter, the letters are separated by it. Should "H!E!L!P" (without the last "!") also be considered stressful?

(2) A test in checking considers "." as a possible character to follow/separate the letters, but it is not mentioned in the description. Does it imply that there could be ANY non-letter character in this role?