Before reading this post, please watch this quick Seinfeld clip, which sums up my exclamation point views entirely.
There is nothing more cringe-worthy to me than an advertisement or piece of marketing material with an overuse of exclamation points.
The exclamation point says a number of things to me:
- The writer lacks creativity, inspiration or both and is attempting to make something that lacks excitement, exciting
- The writer has a limited vocabulary, and instead has resorted to punctuation abuse rather than creative and interesting copy
- The writer shouldn’t be a writer
I have an exclamation point rule. When reviewing an email, status update or report, I cull a minimum of three exclamation points. (Let’s be honest, if there are three or more exclamation points in your email, status update or report, you need to question what you’re writing.)
Too often I see businesses committing the act of inappropriate, unnecessary exclamation in marketing documents including brochures, flyers and so help me God, annual reports.
Like this one:
To the writers of the world, please, control your exclamation overuse. And that doesn’t mean resorting to capitalising words, it just means saving the exclamation points for births and surprise party invitations.