Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A Post About Punctuation!!

Aimee Lee Ball wrote a great column in last Sunday's New York Times discussing how e-mail has changed the way we communicate with each other.  It's not the first column to do this, but this one talked about the use of the dreaded exclamation point.  As far back as 1895, Mark Twain chastised any writer who used them and stated that their use "...is very depressing, and makes one want to renounce joking and lead a better life."


While I've never been a fan of the exclamation point, I don't have the same vitriol for it that Twain, or even an insane creative director of mine, had.  I had worked on a print ad for Panasonic many years ago and the headline used an exclamation point.  It was cheesy but intentionally so.  Anyway, I got called on the carpet by this guy.  I thought it was a joke but apparently, he had spent years trying to get this client to get away from exclamation points and I undid all of his hard work.  Ahh, advertising.

My problem with the exclamation point is the false enthusiasm it evokes.  I'm not a cheery guy.  I hate the cheeriness that it might force from the person reading anything I've written.  My hope is that if I do use it, it'll be obvious to everyone that I'm being sarcastic or intentionally goofy.  So I did an unofficial survey: I asked people what punctuation mark I remind them of.  (†=completely made up)

1 comment:

Marcy Sue said...

What?! Your kidding me!