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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Awesome Authors: Greg Gutfeld

Not Cool by Greg Gutfeld*This is part of the Write 31 Days writing challenge.

I heard about Greg Gutfeld through my in-laws. They have seen him on the show The Five where he is one of the co-hosts. Then I had the opportunity to read and review his book Not Cool. The book blew me away – and I LOVE his list of “free radicals” toward the end book. He has a no-nonsense way of writing that I love and he is not afraid to say (or in this case write) what he believes.

The best part of Greg’s book and website is that he makes you think. Better yet, he gets you to think for yourself. There are a lot of educators or influencers today who tell people what to think and Gutfeld’s writings fights against them in his own subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) way. Thus, even if you don’t agree with the views he expresses in his books and articles, you still go away challenged and  fired-up. At least, I did when I read Not Cool.

That is why I had to include him in my list of awesome authors and bloggers. No matter what your political bent, or no bent at all, I encourage you to read Not Cool and/or any of Greg Gutfeld’s writings. He is one author worth getting to know.

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Simple Trick for Keeping Track of Online Passwords

As an author/solopreneur, there is no doubt that you spend a large amount of time online. Nowadays, we have to, right? Therefore, with all the websites and forums we belong to comes the task of keeping track of many different passwords.

onlinepasswords

Image by OpenIcons (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Some people handle this task by having only one password for all the sites they belong to. But, that’s *not* recommended. If, heaven forbid, one of the websites get hacked, the hacker would have access to any and all websites with that password.

A better way to keep track of your passwords is to use a service such as LastPass. LastPass remembers all of your passwords and all you need to remember is one – the password to LastPass. But this isn’t a good option for everyone. What if you lose access to LastPass for whatever reason?

In addition, as someone who has had her computer crash (3 times!), I don’t like to rely completely on LasPass or other online password service. Consider me old fashioned, if you must, but I really like the idea of keeping track of my passwords offline. And my simple, offline trick for keeping up with passwords is this:

Use a good-old address book

You know the kind: the physical book with tabs lettered A-Z for writing in peoples names and address. Yep. Each letter represents the name of the website, and on the other lines I write in the username, password, and any other information, such as security questions and answers.

I have been keeping track of my passwords like this for years and it works like a charm. I keep the book near the computer for quick updating. Yes, the initial task of entering in the information is a little time consuming, but worth it in my opinion.

The only drawback is that if you change your passwords every 6-8 months (and you should), it can get kind of messy. I get around this by using a larger-sized address book and writing small. 🙂

Now tell me, how do you handle your passwords? Do you use an online tracker or do you have your own offline system? Do share in the comments.

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Tweetable: Keeping Track of Passwords

Image by OpenIcons (2013) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain