Exclamation Mark Phobia

| | Comments (5)

From Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss:

“…grammarians have warned us to be wary of the exclamation mark, mainly because, even when we try to muffle it with brackets (!), it still shouts, flashes like neon, and jumps up and down” (Truss 137).

I won’t deny it, I’m afraid of the exclamation mark.  I have been going to therapy and I’ve made improvements, but I’m still a little!-phobic.  Exclamation marks are so strong!  And in most cases, my feelings about the issue at hand are simply not so very overwhelming that an exclamation mark seems necessary.  Even when I am excited about something, I’ll type an exclamation mark, then erase it, then put it back.  Pondering whether I will seem ridiculous for using it, I usually decide I am better off eliminating it.  What if someone else doesn’t think what I wrote deserves an exclamation mark and then just thinks I’m stupid?  Granted, as time has went on, I have become more confidant in its use, but I certainly can understand why people would be hesitant to use it.    

5 Comments

Angela Palumbo said:

Unlike you Greta, I could definitely go to EA (Exclamation mark-users Anonymous) for I am addicted to the exciting punctuation mark. It is partially because the kind of person I am -easily excitable- so I tend to use it a lot in text messages, titles for blog entries and I’m often tempted in papers.
Obviously, the exclamation point, or exclamatory mark as my boyfriend likes to call it, is not entirely appropriate for an academic paper. It’s too strong and bold. It could be used in a persuasive paper though, to show the reader that you are passionate. One of the best ways to persuade people to agree with you is to show that you care without completely bashing the opposing side. Overall, I think the exclamation point is a pivotal punctuation mark and so I will continue to use it!

Oh Greta dear - don't worry, come to the dark side, be like me and Angela - use the eclamation mark...our side has more fun and excitement anyway!

Greta Carroll said:

Haha, oh I do use it when I absolutely must, I just prefer not to.

Hey Greta, very nice entry. I, like you, tend to be quite introverted and I do not use the exclamation point that much. The only time I use it is when I am complimenting somebody on something, like "Good job!" or "Nice work!". I left a comment on Katie Vann’s blog (http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KatieVann/2008/04/imagine_60_little_exclamation.html) about how the use of the punctuation mark can reveal a lot about someone's personality.

Hey Greta, very nice entry. I, like you, tend to be quite introverted and I do not use the exclamation point that much. The only time I use it is when I am complimenting somebody on something, like "Good job!" or "Nice work!". I left a comment on Katie Vann’s blog (http://blogs.setonhill.edu/KatieVann/2008/04/imagine_60_little_exclamation.html) about how the use of the punctuation mark can reveal a lot about someone's personality.

Leave a comment


Type the characters you see in the picture above.