Monday, December 6, 2010

Exclamation points

!

They're getting out of control.

I've noticed them creeping into my writing; not just one of them, but two, three, six or nine of them to punctuate a single sentence. When I see that happening, I'm starting to hit the delete key; really, there are very few times that I'm that surprised, shocked or delighted. It seems that, like potato chips, when it comes to exclamation points: one is no longer enough.

I never used to use exclamation points at all; I had it drilled into me that it was far better to use words to convey excitement than punctuation. I seem to have grown lazy; my sentences are getting shorter and my punctuation is getting longer. I don't like what that says about me; I want to express my feelings, not rely on a generic punctuation mark.

So that's my resolution for 2011; to eliminate the effusive use of exclamation points and get back to using my words.

4 comments:

Amy Allworth said...

Hahahahahaah!!!!!!! This made me laugh so hard, because I too, am a HUGE offender of exclamation point overuse! I just sometimes don't know how else to convey my enthusiasm! LOL!

Florence Turnour said...

I de-exclamation-marked a while ago. I also de-really-ed. It is really unusual for really to really really convey any really new information.

Gwen's been pointing out that I say "a whole nuther" quite often; I should probably de-whole-nuther on my next bout of good grammar.

Sandy Pudoff said...

Punctuation marks are such an integral part of electronic communications that we've had to even invent more i.e. smiley faces, sad faces, etc. Don't see it as lazy rhetoric just going with the flow!!!!!

Kokopelli said...

LMBO! That was exactly what I thought when I read the last forum post I wrote. It seemed to have more exclamation marks than words. But Sandy has a good point on modern communication. How do you know about the emotions of people you can't see?