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Exclamation Mark (or Point)
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I've just finished editing the Emerson UU monthly newsletter. I make sure words are spelled correctly, used appropriately in context. I fix sentence structure so that it conveys the meaning as clearly as possible. And, of course, I deal with punctuation.

One might think that punctuation is not so difficult. A capital letter at the beginning of a sentence, a period or question mark or exclamation mark at the end. Quotations require quotation marks. Sometimes cited paragraphs from another publication call for indentation.

My biggest problem is the overuse of exclamation points. Everything! is! exciting!! and fun!!! Or not?? I could be a wealthy woman were I to be the recipient of a dollar for every exclamation point I've changed to a simple period.

It's true that a well-chosen timely exclamation mark can indicate a point of interest. But text which has received an overly generous sprinkling of enthusiasm just sounds silly. Think not? Try reading it out loud.

So here's to putting a leash on literary enthusiasm! Curb those marks!! And pick up after a deposit of too many points!!!

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