Image via WikipediaAm I writing a defense, or a confession? I have been accused by many of abusing the exclamation point. Like curse words, they should be used sparingly.
I agree: they have almost entirely been eradicated from my fiction. But emails? Blogs? Really?
There seems to be a concensus amongst friends, family and colleagues that I'm a little too excitable when it comes to the exclamation point. The husband points out that I go out of my way to use it: it is on the far left of the keyboard, along with the shift button, and as a poor typist who has her own way of doing things, I have to stop and use both hands. SHIFT with my left and !!!!!!!! with my right.
Ah, that felt so good. I'm an enthusiastic person, and I believe the exclamation point expresses enthusiasm. Yet as I go over some past emails, I see that I have an exclamation point after each sentence.
It does look un peu ridiculous. (After all, I teach grammar - albeit in a fun, experiential way - to youngsters.) The allure of the exclamation point is all about the moment, so I need to stop and think before I act. Which, come to think of it, is what Anthony Weiner should have done. Come on dude! Sit on those poor impulses and go get some therapy, cop to it and then say: it's none of your beeswax. But I digress.
I am undergoing some rehabilitation, much as I had to do with the exclamation point's sassy partner, the apostrophe.
Wish me luck!!!!!!! :-)