Overactive Exclamatory Punctuation!!!!!!


Every day we use the internet to connect and communicate with folks all over the world.  How we type our messages can make a huge difference in how they are perceived.  On February 24th, I'm going to be sharing more about everyday communication with a panel of guests over on TalkShoe.  There are several things we do every day that hinder our ability to say what we mean.  Today, I'd like to bring the exclamation point to your attention. The use, or overuse, of the exclamation point can create a vastly different meaning to your email and social networking communication.  It can alter your message or it can just as easily give you less credibility.  Let's look at the different ways the overuse of the exclamation point can impact your message: 1. Using too many exclamation marks can strip all the emotion out of your message. This reduces your sentences so that they all have the same weight.  "We have a new dog!  His name is Bark because he barks all the time!  I'm going to have to teach him to be quiet!" 2. Even the use of one exclamation point can make you sound like you're angry. "I thought you did your own programming!"  This makes it sound like an accusation that the person should be familiar with the material when, in fact, it was simply surprise. 3. Too many exclamation points can make you appear childish. "I just loved it!!!  It was so much fun!!!!  I had a great time!!!  That was the best strategy!!!!" Using too many exclamation points with short choppy sentences can make you come across as childish or naive. So what do we do if we are afflicted with Overactive Exclamatory Punctuation?   Well, you're in luck, because I have developed a Four Step Program. The Over Exclamatory Four Step Program: 1. Make a conscious effort to use exclamation points sparingly. Less is more. 2. Institute a "wait time" before punctuating your post. 3. Back away from the button... 4. Take the exclamation key off your keyboard! Don't you feel better now?  You'll find that, by using fewer exclamation points, you will begin to feel calmer and more peaceful.  You'll notice a lower rate of misunderstandings and offense and you'll lose 5 pounds!  Okay, I was kidding about that last part. For more creative and fun ways to improve your ability to say what YOU mean, visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com Do it NOW!!!!!!  [insert maniacal giggle here]

14 comments


  • In Our Write Minds

    To this post I say Yes!!!!!

    But I confess I’m guilty as charged. I’m a culprit when it comes to Facebook comments, but I do try to limit use and at least be mindful. However, I really can’t abide the multiple exclamations either, and I think you hit it on the head. Never thought of them before as childish—-but that’s it exactly (except I think of overactive exclamations as more “teenagerish”).


  • Carla

    I’m guilty, too!!! LOL Well, that’s in private communication and on my blog, which is written pretty much how I talk. :) When I write for publication or on someone else’s forum, I really do try to contain those pesky !!!!!!!!!s. Hey, you need some excitement in life at my age! (Ooops! There it is again. . . )


  • jojosblog

    ROFL Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kim.


  • Natural Skin Care

    what a lengthy and in depth article but full of useful information


  • JP

    Thanks for sharing this info…I’ll think twice before using an exclamation mark!


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