Pet Peeves # 1: Excessive punctuation

Excessive punctuation. You’ve all seen it. Sentences which end with an entire line of exclamation points. Like this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why? Why do people do this? I mean, OK, they’re excited, sure. And they want to exclaim about it. But one exclamation point tells me that the writer is excited. An entire row of them doesn’t tell me that they’re really excited. Just that they’re excited, and they don’t know too much about punctuation.

This excessive punctuation is everywhere. There are rogue rows of exclamation points everywhere I look. They’re in emails, on websites. Some of them are even in the speculative letters we receive from people looking for freelance writing work.

I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t really like exclamation points. Not even when there’s just one of ‘em. Oh, I’ll use them. But I don’t like them. There’s something a little too “perky” about them. I believe you should chose words which are powerful enough to not need exclamation points after them to help drive home their point. Especially not excessive ones.

So, the multiple-”exclam”. It’s becoming more and more prevalent, even amongst professional writers. And it is hereby named public enemy number one.