C++ tries to guard against Murphy, not Machiavelli.
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First of all, C-p and C-n are much easier... the Up and Down cursor keys.
Once you know of Ctrl-R, your use of ! automatically declines drastically, and ^ehco^echo becomes non-existent. With the ! prefix, you have to be absolutely sure that the command is what you want to run, there is no chance to see its expanded form before it is executed—this may be a risk (like when you do !rm). Ctrl-R is much safer as it allows you to see/change the command while entering it. The same aplies to ^ehco^echo — just ^R e h c, then use the arrow keys to change to e c h.
Also, ! is hardly used. Except you count how many commands you are away from your designated command -- ^R to the resuce (again, surprisingly?)
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