Monday, August 4, 2014

Exclaim. Exclaim!

I’m shopping for real estate agents, and I’ve found that I will use just about any excuse to cross people off of my mile-long list of potentials. Bad website? See ya. No About Me page? Adios. But the number one thing that has helped me wade through this list of Realtors?

Exclamation points.

I know. I laugh about this because it seems so ridiculous. An exclamation point or two should not annoy me. But I'm not talking about one at the end of a sentence every once in a while. I mean those sentences that end in hordes of exclamation points. I just don't understand why you would need more than one at a time. 

Exclamations certainly have their place in literature. But rarely, if ever, do you need more than one in a row, or more than eight in a paragraph. You may think I’m making this up, but I just read through a 300-word About Me page in which the person used exclamation points in groups of three and placed them after every other sentence. I pictured them as a tiny Chihuahua barking all their accomplishments at me. It was painful.

I’m a firm believer that if you need more than one exclamation point to get your point across, you need to edit or rewrite. In fact, I think twice and thrice before using even one exclamation point. If I can’t communicate the feeling of shouting or surprise with the rest of my words, what kind of writer am I?

What do you think? Am I being too judgmental or is my pet peeve justified?

This nitpick-y message was brought to you by Michelle, lover of sweater weather and double-sided tape.

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