Using Exclamation Marks in Writing

Let's have a revisit to the punctuation arena. Today's topic is exclamation marks and how to use them correctly.

An exclamation mark is used to convey surprise, shout, awe, anger, or any such strong emotion. Please note that you should use it mostly in the conversational sort of writing and in dialogs. Here are some tips.

1. Don't use two exclamations or three together ever.
2. Use them as sparingly as possible especially in formal writing.
3. Don't use them with question marks (?!)
4. Don't use them in normal sentences, only on sentences which convey strong emotions in an informal fashion.

Here are a few examples for you to follow.

Wow, it's a lovely view!
How irritable those kids are!
She cried, "It's astounding!"
Good heavens!
"Ouch! It hurt"
I didn't do that. I swear!

5 Opinions:

  1. I have to say I don't agree with old fashioned writing rules like these. It's now perfectly acceptable (and common) to use multiple marks and to mix question and exclamation marks.

  2. But definitely not in formal sort of writing, Mike. That will make you look like a fool. Avoid it.

  3. Agreed Lenin, although I can't actually remember the last time I wrote anything "formal".

  4. I'm with Mike. There is a fine line between strong message and visually distracting though.

  5. Thanks for the comments. But definitely anything you write on a blog is not formal. And this blog is meant for writers who publish in print media. Do you see a lot of !?s and !!!s in print?


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