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 DayLaborProofing@gmail.com and we can talk about it.

DayLaborProofing
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.
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