How to Use Exclamation Points (and ALL CAPS) Correctly

There is a blog that I used to love to read except for the fact that it used all capitals and exclamation points way to much. Seriously, every sentence ended in ! or !!!! or AWESOME (or another word that was all capped). The content of the blog was good but the exclamation points and capitals became so much I stopped reading the blog altogether. That blog isn’t the only place I’ve seen the exclamation points and all caps misused so here is my take on these grammar mistakes:

How to use exclamatio points correctly

The point of exclamation points is to show emphasis or stong emotion.

For example:

Stop! It is not alright!

However, when exclamation points are overused they lose their purpose and become annoying.

For example:

I just finished writing my first book! I will self-edit the first draft! Then I will hire someone to edit the second draft!

The above is a little silly but you get the idea. Exclamation points should be used sparingly and consciously. When you edit your piece, make sure that each exclamation point exists for a reason.

The same goes for ALL CAPS. I have seen a lot of people use all caps in emails, blog posts and even in other written work. However, they should be used sparingly, or in my opinion, not at all.

Why? Well, for one thing, all caps is the written equivalent of shouting.

For example:

I WENT TO THE BOOK STORE WITH MY SON. I BOUGHT TWO BOOKS AND BOUGHT HIM THREE BOOKS. WE SPENT ALL AFTERNOON LOOKING THROUGH THE TITLES AND IT WAS A LOT OF FUN. I CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK TO THE STORE AGAIN.

The above is only three lines but can you see how “in your face” the all capitals typeface is? Right or wrong, some people take immediate offence when they receive and email or something in all caps.

Additionally, when something is typed (or written) in all caps, it can be hard to read. I am a volunteer editor for a website and when I first started, someone would email me the copy and then I was supposed to edit and paste it to the website. The problem was that the copy would be in all capitals. It was very hard on the eyes and I would have to spend extra time re-typing it.

So, these are my thoughts. What are your opinions regarding the use of exclamation points and all capitals in writing?

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