I love exclamation points!
For much of my life, I didn’t see much of a reason for these points of exclamation and I only used them sparingly.
Lately, though, I use them all of the time!
According to the dictionary, exclamation points should be used after an interjection or exclamation in order to show a forceful utterance or a strong feeling. They can also be used to indicate major significance, interest or contrast.
As a mild-mannered individual, though, I rarely utter anything forcefully. In addition, I have not exclaimed much in my life, although I did once have an ex claim one of my end tables.
And since I don’t generally make statements of major significance and I don’t like to show strong feelings, I honestly have not had much use for exclamation points.
My strongest feeling usually is fatigue, and it rarely requires a point of an exclamatory nature.
As you can see, a sentence like “I am sleepy!” doesn’t work very well.
Also, as someone who wrote newspaper articles for years, I can tell you we rarely included exclamation points in news copy.
Sentences like “City leaders discussed proposed code regulations for signs at Monday’s meeting!” never seemed to fit well in the paper. In my mind, I may have thought, “City leaders talked about zoning for more than two hours!” because I was frustrated about having to pay attention and take notes for so long, but I could never get that line past my editor.
For the columns I write today, though, exclamation points seem perfect! I can’t get enough of them now!
Somehow, moving away from newspapers every day has freed me to explore this pivotal point of punctuation, and now I am exuberantly exclaiming exceedingly often.
Lately, and I promise you this is true, I find myself emailing friends and colleagues and saying things like “Happy Tuesday!” or “Thanks for the paper clip!”
I am not sure what has gotten into me, but for some reason I feel compelled to show excitement and forceful feelings constantly.
I can’t believe how much I have changed!
The exclamation points are even appearing in my thoughts now!. For example, I have evolved from thinking “My hair looks nice today” into “My hair looks nice today!” It’s like I have a whole new outlook on life!
If I am thirsty, I don’t just want a drink of water. I want a drink of water! And if I have had a stressful day, I don’t just need cheering up. I need cheering up!
Even if I am doubting myself or my writing, I don’t think my writing stinks, I know that my writing stinks!
Ok, so that last example wasn’t the best, but when I think my writing stinks, now I can say to myself, “At least I’m trying! I won’t give up!”
And honestly, it’s actually pretty motivating.
Now some people might say “Nick, using exclamation points all of the time takes away their significance.” I do understand what they are saying, and it does sound somewhat reasonable. At the same time, though, I just assume that I have more important and significant thoughts than most people, so I need the exclamation points often in my writing.
If they would say “Nick, using the exclamation points all of the time takes away their significance!” that would be much more persuasive, but they won’t do that because they are afraid of using them.
I am not afraid of exclamation points! I am going to keep using them and I am going to like it! I don’t care if they look silly or overused! I want to convey happiness, excitement and other feelings in my writing (just not in real life), and I am having fun with this new style!
For me, simple periods are too boring for my important thoughts and expressions. I have plenty of thoughts I need to exclaim, and I want the world to listen to me! I am going to use exclamation points again and again!
And besides, if periods aren’t good enough for my thoughts, what else would I use to end a sentence of my significant thoughts?
Do you love or hate exclamation points? Feel free to comment below. Thanks!