My pet hates 5 – avoid !!!!

Exclamation marks are meant to emphasize the importance, emotional or otherwise, of a headline or a sentence. But I find it annoying when they are overused, when they appear too often and dramatise a subject unnecessarily.

I’ve skimmed through websites where every other sentence ends with an exclamation mark for no reason. Also, I’ve received emails with invitations to business meetings where headlines are followed by multiple exclamation marks as in !!!!

It is as if some writers don’t think their readers would otherwise understand the message, but it insults my intelligence seeing all those exclamation marks.

Repeated exclamation marks are a sure sign of an enthusiastic amateur writer who doesn’t understand that the words themselves often suffice to show the tone.

A flyer was dropped through my letter box recently from a company that offered a product with the following reassurance:

“We won’t be beaten on price!!!!”

It put me off because it was such an aggressive sales pitch. I threw away the flyer.

Exclamation marks have their place in a text, but they should be used sparingly.

I welcome your comments.

Rolf Soderlind

http://www.absolutwriting.com/ absolutwriting


2 comments on “My pet hates 5 – avoid !!!!

  1. Agree that misuse of the exclamation mark is a sign of very cheap copy-writing.

  2. I feel the same way about putting words or phrases in all capital letters.

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