I have a big blog post planned about the ‘Terrible Twins’ – those words that are pronounced the same or similarly, and can often confuse people. But in the meantime, and feeling rather poorly, I decided to say a few things about that often overused punctuation mark, the exclamation mark. How many writers have I seen who try to communicate their excitement about something by adding the exclamation mark – in fact, they sometimes add a plethora of them for good measure!!!!
Alas, it is a poor prop for lazy writing to do so (letter writing and some informal texts excluded). If you must resort to frequent use of exclamation marks, then that shows that the writing is not powerful enough on its own to show the reader its power on its own. However, the exclamation mark does have its place, particularly in dialogue where the force of the speaker cannot be shown any other way. For example: ‘Oh, shut up!’ he snapped. But a sentence like ‘There were as many as 300 wild horses on the property’ is powerful enough on its own without needing an exclamation mark.
Something to think about.