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?

***********

Tweetable: How to Use Exclamation points Correctly

Book Review: The Big House on Adams Street

From Book Description

With a heart full of cheer and hope, Fritz – a young, wealthy German – decides to go to America and build a community that will help people in need. With the completion of a beautiful, spacious, house, Fritz is witness to a series of unexpected events that bring together a cast of unlikely characters. Come journey with Fritz as he tries to complete a dream that will take your heart through a wondrous adventure of humanity.

Big House on Adams Street

My Comments

This book was offered to me as a “bonus” to an other book I was given to read and review. I was enticed by the book description and thought I would love this book. Sadly, I didn’t. Although there were parts of the book I liked a lot, there was much that troubled me.

On the positive side, I love the premise of the book. The idea of creating a community of like-minded people gathered to help the needy is an awesome idea. I also love stories of people who immigrate from other countries and create satisfying lives for themselves in America. I have a soft-spot for “rags-to-riches” stories, for sure.

As for the story itself, the first chapter moved swiftly but then it switches gears. In fact, the story switches gears a lot. It was hard to keep track of who was doing what or even who is the main protagonist of this story. Then, after the first chapter, the story slows down to an almost unbearable pace. I have a Kindle edition of the book and it isn’t until sometime into the 30% of the book that the house even gets built. Then, after going so slowly, the book comes to an abrupt stop. Boom! The story ends with no resolution or sense of completion.

In addition, there is no real character development for any of the characters. Characters came and went without any real introduction or opportunity to create an emotional bond. And, the characters are just too “perfect” and impossible to relate to. Even the “bad” ones, or those with problems seem too good to be true.

However, what confused me the most was the Christian aspect of the story. I knew going in that it was a Christian book, but some of the book seemed to be from a non-denominational Christian perspective and some of it seemed to be from a Catholic-Christian perspective. There were several mentions of St. Francis and his “Channel of Peace” prayer but one of the characters is supposed to be the “chaplain” of the group but he is just a holy man that Fritz became acquainted with. Also, another character makes a “confession” but I couldn’t tell if it was a Catholic confession or what. If it was, the theology is way off. I appreciate books with a Christian slant, and I appreciate it here too, but it was just confusing.

I should also mention that there are some glaring grammar and usage/spelling errors. There are enough errors to mention them but nothing that some good editing can’t fix.

Therefore, as the book stands now, I would not recommend the book. However, I think, with some good editing and re-working of the story, it has the potential to be a really good book. Thus, I give The Big House on Adams Street three (3) stars.

************

Tweetable: Book Review: The Big House on Adams Street

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 Online Resources to Improve Your Writing

improvewriting

In today’s digital age, writing well is essential. It is particularly important if you want to make money selling information products or self-publishing a book. If you write poorly, you may not be taken seriously as an expert in your field. Also, bad writing can affect your review rating on Amazon.com (or other review websites) and ultimately affect your sales.

Therefore, I thought I would share some of my favorite writing websites. If you need a little writing help, or you want a quick resource for when you have a writing question, here are some great websites to keep handy:

1. Writing From Your Soul. Dawn is a fellow former AssistU colleague and is amazing! She  focuses on content creation and offers several writing programs and coaching services. A few years ago, I purchased Dawn’s “Writing from the Soul Intensive Toolkit” and I am convinced that using her system is one of the reasons I graduated from college this May “Summa Cum Laude” (high honors).

2. Grammar Girl. This site offers tons of writing advice and tips. (It also had tons of other kids of tips, too!)

3. The Elements of Style. This is the online version of the well-known grammar handbook. A must-have for any writer.

4. Writer’s Digest. Go here for general writing tips, forums and writing groups, competitions and information about getting published.

5. The Working Writer’s Coach. This resource is a great resource for freelance writers and those looking to be published. She also has writing tips and other resources you may find useful.

Coming Soon: I am in the process of finishing up a “sister” website to this one called http://www.grammarplace.com/. On this website you will find weekly videos offering practical, easy to implement, grammar tips.

What’s your favorite writing resource? Do take a moment to share it in the comments!

————-

P.S. You can download a free printable version of this list here. (Subscribers can access this download on their private page.)

*I am not an affiliate for any of these websites nor are there any affiliate links in this post.