Sunday, March 11, 2012

Stop The Madness!!!!!

We're all friends here, right?

Well, friends, it's time for some tough love.  Because I've kept my mouth shut for a long time, hoping this little problem would get better or solve itself, but it's just not happening.  Time for an intervention.

Let's start with a quick review:

What, boys and girls, do you call this little thingamajigger, in between the brackets? ------>     {   .   }

Very good!  That is a period.  A period is used to indicate the end of a declarative sentence.

Question #2:  What is this thing here, again between the brackets?--------->      {   !   }

That's right!  It's an exclamation point.  It is used to indicate not only the end of a sentence, but also to express intense emotion or loudness.  You're so smart.

Here's my beef:  I have noticed a certain tendency- among internet users in particular- to overuse exclamation points.  It ends up looking something like this:

"I went to the mall today!!!  It was so great!!  I got some blue suede shoes!!!  Now I look just like The King!!!!!"

When you use exclamation points over and over and over again, they start to lose their value.  But that's not my real problem.  What really bothers me is several exclamation points in a row.   {!!!!!!!}

I'm going to be real honest here:  Don't do this.  It makes you look dumb.

I'm saying this out of love, people.  My intention is not to alienate, but to educate.  So let's discuss a few alternatives to this increasingly common error:

  • Broaden your vocabulary.  Don't just tell me that your red velvet birthday cake was so great!!!!  Tell me what you liked about it; it was rich, decadent, flavorful, sinful, moist, whatever.  Be descriptive.  Adjectives and adverbs are your friends.

  • Try a comparison.   Don't just say, "I'm so happy!!!!!!"  Give me a basis for comparison.  "I'm as happy as a pageant contestant who's arch-rival discovered Nutella two weeks before the swimsuit competition."  This gives me a far better barometer to your emotions than five exclamation points.

  • I don't have a third idea.  But to my mind, a list should have at least three items, and I was bound and determined to have a bulleted list today.

Even I honestly don't mind multiple exclamation  points every once in a great while, especially if you have some truly superior news to share:  "My wife is pregnant with quadruplets!!"  "I just nailed my interview and landed my dream job!!!"  "We're going to Dollywood!!"  

It's the repeat offenders that get me.  It's hard to take what you say seriously, or believe your news is really that exciting, if everything you write ends with this!!!!!!

In other news, Spring is almost here!!!!  


  1. i love this!!!!! i totally agree!!

  2. Thanks for making me paranoid.

    I just re-read my last three posts and the last few comments I made on your blog to see if I am guilty.

    And I want you to know I am mentally dropping both pitch and volume at the end of my sentences just to make sure I'm not getting too excited about this.

    1. Oh, Shonya, I don't know why, but your comment made me laugh so hard. If it had been transcribed, it probably would have been full of exclamation points.

      I actually had a very specific blog (and some extremely annoying teenagers) in mind when I wrote this- and it certainly wasn't yours!<----You see what I did there?


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