Okay, blame it on texting and social media if you like, but the exclamation point’s overuse is sucking the life out of the grand old dame of punctuation. What used to be reserved for shouting “Fire! Run for your life!” is now being added to “Thank you!”, “See you Saturday!” and “My cat had kittens!” And if one exclamation point is good, two must be better and three, well, “You Rock!!!”
Because the exclamation point is meant to indicate yelling, using it in a blog post, email or text message with words that you wouldn’t shout in normal conversation sounds like you are hollering. The unnecessary use of the exclamation point in writing is a visual distraction which translates into a non-verbal impediment toward understanding what’s being communicated.
And don’t get me started on typing in all capital letters.
The best advice: Don’t use an exclamation point to replace good writing.
Mark Twain chastised writers who used exclamation points as laughing at their own humor, “all of which is very depressing, and makes one want to renounce joking and lead a better life.”
Author Terry Pratchett wrote, “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”
Tempering the use of the exclamation point in your blog posts will make you a better writer. Your readers will love you for it – – at least I will. Honest. 🙂 🙂 🙂