About five years ago, when I was a budding account executive in advertising, my boss at the time told me that I could benefit from re-evaluating my use of exclamation points. He was SO right. I was a major abuser and over-user.
Since then, I've noticed the unnecessary use of exclamation points grow and grow—in business communications and in my personal conversations—among men and women.
Exclamation points have their place, they were invented to show emotion in an otherwise flat medium—words on paper. Exclamation points convey excitement, anger or extreme passion, and are usually visualized with someone talking quickly and a high pitched voice—yelling, screaming, shouting—all of those things warrant exclamation points.
However; most often, I see exclamation points being used in very common email communications where, if said out loud, the tone would never be used the same as it is conveyed through email. People do not normally talk with exclamations at the end of every sentence, so why is it happening on paper? It's my opinion that over using exclamation points can damage the writer's credibility and can even make them sound ditzy.
Bottom line, if you’re excited about something, use your words, don’t abuse the exclamation point – keep it for something that really warrants the tone that you’re conveying.
Tags: Punctuation, Writing Style, Tone, Voice
General | Randomness
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