By Judy Vorfeld
Are you one of those people who hates punctuation? Or perhaps you love it. So much that you may, possibly, overuse it????? Especially the exclamation mark!!!! Read on, and maybe you’ll change your mind or shift your view …
Exclamations: sharp or sudden utterance that can be a word, phrase, or sentence. They have to be understood in context, and can’t be fully understood on their own. Let’s discuss those that might be used in business correspondence or business situations.
When writing copy in letters, ads, or on your Web site, go easy on exclamations. They’re overused and often boring. Examples:
The One-Minute Millionaire!!!!!
Reach Your Dreams in Seven Days!!
Get Rich in 72 Hours or Your Money Back!!!!!!
Future Millionaires, It’s TIME!!
You CAN Win the Lottery! Trust me!!!
Try using just one exclamation point after an exclamation. It’s all that is necessary. It may not be easy at first, but you can do it!!
Professor Charles Darling says that if an exclamation mark is part of an italicized or underlined title, make sure that the exclamation mark is also italicized or underlined. Further, he says, “(Do not add a period after such a sentence that ends with the title’s exclamation mark. The exclamation mark will also suffice to end the sentence.) If the exclamation mark is not part of a sentence-ending title, don’t italicize the exclamation mark:
I’ve asked you not to sing la Marseillaise!
“Hear, hear!” is used as an exclamation to show great approval. You use this type of a phrase when applauding a dynamic speaker or performer. Some people mistakenly write, “Here, here!” but if you remember that it means, “Listen, listen!” you’ll write it properly.
SUMMARY: There’s a time and place for exclamations and exclamation points. Avoid over saturation; use them lightly and with grace. Except perhaps for Yahoo! Which is a legitimate business name.