Usage Tip: Limit Use of the Exclamation Point

First off, a confession: In reading over my past posts here on the blog, I see I rely too much on the exclamation point. Shall I go back and clip some out? I think I shall. Now, in personal writing, in email correspondence (even with clients) I am heavy on the exclamation points – and that’s entirely OK.

HOWEVER, in business writing, academic writing, advertising – in any type of writing that an audience will see – do limit use of this helpful punctuation mark. It is easy for enthusiastic people to flog the reader with too-frequent exclamation points. This is truly a case where less is more, and it’s related to the “pet word” phenomenon, where a writer absolutely uses a favorite word so much that it’s a distraction. And what’s our goal? NO DISTRACTIONS. You know where I’m going ….

Sure, read over your own work and see if you’re doing this. For a professional assessment of your “!!” tendencies, contact me at and we can talk about it.

Expert proofreader and editor, graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (B.A. in American Studies; minors in Psychology and German Language). Background in various fields, including admin assistant in law office, university dept. of psychology, career counseling practice; assistant to entrepreneurs; skip-trace agent for asset recovery; health food café jack-of-all-trades; telecom customer service rep; TV air-time sales agent; high-end retail clerk; web/Internet researcher; along with 25+ years of freelance proofreading, editing, & writing.
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial