Tuesday, November 3, 2009
[Sorry for the short hiatus, folks. I was traveling and moving but not to worry, I'm back and as cranky as ever.]
I get it!!! I really do!!! Srsly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I know you’re excited or scared or confused or slumped over the keyboard so your ear keeps hitting the question mark key. There’s no need to drive home the point by slapping me in the face with punctuation marks or poking me in the eye with those goddamn extraneous exclamation points.
I’m a big advocate of everything in moderation and yep, that applies to my semicolons. Ever since high school, I figured there was a perfect way to express anything through words. Words. Not punctuation. Spend more time conveying what you mean through language, please, and leave those poor, defenseless exclamation marks alone. What did they ever do to you?
F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes.” Word, Fitz, word. Can you imagine the difference it would make if he had thrown in one or several exclamation points to his otherwise gorgeous WASPy text, such as when Gatsby describes Daisy?
The original: “Her voice is full of money.”
The icky: “Her voice is full of money!!!”
A beautiful observation becomes the sort of squawking, self-congratulatory promise that a Billy Mays ad delivers. Less is more. Period.