If someone tells you that punctuation doesn’t really matter, or they try to play down its importance, please share this with them. Immediately!

Did you catch that subtle point I just made or were you too caught up in wondering what you did to deserve being yelled at by someone you’ve probably never met before because of my choice of punctuation? Exactly.

Look, punctuation is a wonderful thing – if used effectively and in moderation. As is the case with most facets of life, balance is essential. The other (and, frankly, more important) factor at play is a proper understanding of something before attempting to illustrate that you have one. In short: Only use punctuation when you know how to.

Despite my extreme view to this point of not using the exclamation point, that’s not entirely my message as I do feel there is merit to its use in a number of cases and scenarios. It’s essentially at times. However, it’s more about where this public service announcement is being directed. And, in that case, it’s targeted straight towards those who more often than not feel the need to end every thought, opinion, and comment with what appears to be as much enthusiasm as possible (and is done so unjustifiably in most cases).

So, to those who feel the excessive desire to replace every period with an exclamation point: Pay attention!

Reasons to limit exclamation point use:

  • You dilute the point.
  • It comes across as yelling.
  • Sincere excitement will be overshadowed.
  • Its impact lessens with each use.
  • It’s annoying.

When it’s proper to use an exclamation point:

  • Congratulating someone (when it’s actually worth a congratulation).
  • Genuine excitement (and not from someone who claims to always have it).
  • Yelling or conveying anger (when it just simply needs to come across that way).

Enough said? So stop. Now!

Disagree with my assessment because you’re guilty of it?
Are you part of the problem or the solution?
Do you know all there is to know about proper punctuation?