February 17, 2010

Puntcuation Humour: Kicking the Habit

Pin It

Exclamation marks

That lady is me. I know I have a problem with exclamation marks. It's an illness really. I'm especially bad for it in comments. For example, Great post! or Awesome job! This might give people the impression that if you met me, I'd be jumping up and down like an overexcited golden retriever. I'm quite calm in real life. So why the exclamation problem?

When I leave a comment, I try to stop myself from doing it but can't seem to stop. I guess I'll trying to tell the person, "I'm happy about this" or "I'm with you on that." It's very hard to express enthusiasm on the internet without them.

The first step in stopping an addiction is admitting you have a problem. Okay, I admitted it. Let's see if I can conquer it. Maybe I just have to go cold turkey.

Do you have a bad grammar habit? Want to talk about it? Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair.


  1. I'm exactly the same way! I use way too many exclamation points in comments! I've tried to quit, but the comments look dull without them to me!

  2. This is so me! I'm also overly fond of the exclamation/question mark combo...and ellipses. I love me some ellipses! (Also, parentheses.)

  3. That is too funny. I love using exclamation marks. Ok. I know I overuse them and it's probably a problem but I'm in denial. I am NOT in denial about my usage of smiley faces. I tend to do it once in a while and it drives me nuts. And I still do it! Arg. Oh. And I love to do the dot dot dot...

  4. I try to edit my exclamation marks - I worked with a woman once who put entirely too many exclamation marks into every email and I think it scarred me!

    I do however use dashes/hyphens a lot . . .

  5. Kathy- LOL! (Oops, there I go again. This is hard.)

    Jill- I love ellipses too but not as much. I'm glad I'm not alone.

    Amanda- Sometimes a comment just needs a smiley face.

  6. Booksnyc- I should try to add up how many I use in a day. I bet the number would be shocking.

  7. I am the same way and constantly go over my comments in order to weed out my exclamation marks. I just like to think that they make an otherwise neutral statement positive! Good luck with reform ;p

    Oh wait, that's another one... smiley faces in place of exclamation marks.

  8. I definitely overuse the exclamation point. I should probably join ExclamationPoints Anon, but I feel in life I'm expressive, so shouldn't that expressive carry over to the internets?

    You are so totally not alone with the exclamtions.

  9. I'm a total exclamation point whore in comments and on Twitter. I'm with Kathy, I've tried to stop, but so many comments just look boring without them.

  10. I think the more frequent use of exclamation points in blogging comments is due to our attempts to convey warmth without tone of voice.

    I use hyphens way too much in my writing - it's a sloppy way of connecting ideas. :)

  11. We have the same problem! But like you wrote, it's hard to express excitement or conviviality (big word of the day) without them. I'm also addicted to parentheses and ellipses.

  12. ...I'm twice cursed!!! Hmmm...when I think about it... I would say... that I'm addicted to ellipses AND exclamation points!!! Maybe... even dashes!!!!

  13. I have the same problem. I used to try and hold back but recently I've decided to just go with it. If I feel like adding an exclamation mark, I do! If it bothers people, too bad for them!

  14. I've guilty of a LOT of punctuation abuse. I am too fond of ellipses...and then there's the semicolon; I've begun using that more instead of dashes - because I'm the queen of the run-on, compound sentence (in which I'll sometimes use parenthetical phrases too).

    This was a fun question!

  15. Me, too!!! I'm totally addicted to exclamation points and, yep, I think they help make a comment more expressive. But, I do fear fellow bloggers are going to wonder why I'm not bouncing on my toes if/when they meet me. I'm pretty laid-back.

  16. I'm exactly the same way - especially in responding to comments on my blog. "Thanks, Chris" just looks so dull compared to "Thanks, Chris!"

  17. I'm feeling you on this one. Between exclamations and smiley faces- you know :) I feel like a freakin cheerleader on the blogosphere. Funny, because I'm not really that perky in reality, you know? It's an expression through cybertext thing, I suppose. I mean, I suppose!!! :)

  18. She- I get the feeling my reform won't last long.

    April- Well at least I'm not alone.

    Jen- Yes, they just don't have the same oomph.

    Christy- This is true. It's hard to do it otherwise.

    Andi- I talk a lot with my hands so it's hard to make any kind of emphasis without it.

    Cathy- At least you're not stuck on just one.

    Lahni- I'll try this for awhile and end up using them twice as much after I fail.

    Florinda- Oh yes, the run on. So many commas.

    Bookfool- I know, I'm expecting everyone to be very upbeat, like cheerleaders.

    Carrie- I agree, but thanks Carrie. (Whew, I stopped myself.)

    Bookshelf- We couldn't possibly be as perky in real life as we are on the internet.

  19. I use exclamation points a lot in emails and in comments, but I try to keep them to a minimum in my blog posts. I think I use dashes a lot, too! Seems like there is a lot of us exclaimation-point users out there!

  20. Do we really have a problem if we stick together? I never think to myself ("well, that commenter has waaaay too many exclam points - I'm NOT going to go visit there. pshaw.")
    But it is interesting how sad it feels to backspace over one and replace it with a mere period. It's like the frown to an exclamation point's smile.

  21. I have the same problem, and will often edit my exclamation points out, but then my enthusiasm doesn't show through. It's quite the dilemma.

  22. Exactly! (ha ha) So many times I look at something I've written, especially a comment and think, "No, that doesn't quite say it." Then I pop in a little exclamation point, and there, it's perfect!

  23. I use exclamation marks in comments all the time too! I completely understand! I think it's because I only am leaving a little comment and I want you to know I liked your post a lot!!

    In terms of punctuation marks, though, my favorite is the semicolon; I have to force myself not to use it because people think it odd, I think.

  24. Oh, the poor exclamation point. I know I use it too much but it just makes everything look so happy.

  25. Valerie- I use them less in my posts too but can't seem to do the same in comments.

    Care- It is like a frown. Poor period, so grumpy.

    Suey- Smiley faces can do that too. But some people are against them.

    Everybookandcranny- I know, sentences look naked without one.

    Rebecca- I like the semicolon; it needs a revival.

    Amy- Yes, it's the happiest of all the punctuation.

  26. This is me, too, and I've been trying to back away from exclamation point button but it's so. frigging. hard. When I don't use an exclamation point I feel like I'm "talking" in a monotone. When I do use it, I feel like I sound like a cheerleader. Like now. (!)

  27. Hehe! I think if each of us spent some time analyzing our "!" online behaviors, we'd be surprised. I overuse the exclamation mark. I feel a period isn't enough to communicate my enthu, hence the exclamation! In person, I am one of the quietest people ever. :)


Thanks for visiting! Please leave a comment. I've disabled Anonymous comments since I've had a barrage of Anon spam lately. Sorry about that.
Also, if you leave a legit comment but it contains a spammy link, it will not be published.