Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You Only Get One!

One what?

One exclamation point (!) per written piece. Think of it like a diet (you know, one Reese's peanut butter cup/day mentality).

I'm not sure if this is a tidbit or another of my writing pet peeves, but you must consider eliminating the compulsion to put an exclamtion point at the end of your sentences. Let the reader be moved by your words, not manipulated by your punctuation.

When should you use one:

1) Interjections. Used to express an isolated emotion on the part of the speaker ( "Yikes!")

2) Commands. Used to express the weight behind the words ("Get out!")

So take a hint from your keyboard as you knock out your exclamation points: You only get one.

~Cindy Blomquist, WOTH Editor


Jamie Jo said...

An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke? But I do laugh at my own jokes! Oops. Sorry, Cindy. I couldn't resist.

Ellie said...

Some of us just live more exclamation marks than others. Like Jamie Jo - haven't met her, but to me she does seem like one big exclamation mark.

I'll try, I'll try....

but there are sometimes you just need to say WHAT??!!

Women of the Harvest Blogs said...

OMG! Someone is reading this...
@JJ, you are kinda funny, so OK.

Marti said...

Cindy, this post has stayed with me, and - though a chronic abuser of punctuation - I'm attempting to keep myself to "only one." Thanks!


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