Link to this page

The Exclamation Mark: Do You Use Too Many?

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

Fools vent their anger, but the wise quietly hold it back. (Proverbs 29:11, NLT)

A Word For Writers

When you check blogs, email, social media sites, and texts today, take note when you see an exclamation mark.

The Exclamation Mark: an online devotional based on Prov 29:11 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #ChristianWritingResources

Prediction: you’ll count more than a handful.

It’s part of current  “Punctuation Inflation” trend in which exclamation marks are used several times in one blog post or even one paragraph. They’re also used also in multiples, particularly in text messages (like this!!!)

Is exclamation mark overuse so wrong?

"At journalism school, I was told that you get one exclamation point to use in your entire career, so you should use it wisely,” says Julie Beck, senior editor at The Atlantic. “You could, perhaps, spend your one exclamation point on a headline like 'WAR OVER!' but nothing less would merit one.”

That’s because an exclamation mark emphasizes strong emotions like excitement, surprise, sarcasm, or enthusiasm. 

Overuse is a tip off that you don’t know which emotion to emphasize or how to emphasize it and suddenly you’re emphasizing all of them – much like a man who has no self-control over his emotions.

A wise man finds disciplined ways to manage his emotions. Likewise, a wise writer finds disciplined ways to use words when communicating emotions.

And he keeps his exclamation marks under control.

A Wise Word

Use exclamation marks judiciously.

A Word To Pray

Heavenly Father,

It’s tempting to use an exclamation mark as a crutch. Help me to identify the emotions to communicate in my writing. Give me the discipline to use words and imagery to touch the reader – and to use punctuation for specific emphasis.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.


More Devotionals for Writers

Extra Words: How to Cut Them Out (and Why You Should) ...

The Trigger Word: Why Certain Words Move Us to Act...

The Template: Use a Formula for Writing Powerful Content  ...

The Ad Copy: The Case for Clear Headlines ...

Wise Words: Devotionals for Writers ...

More Devotionals for Writers on our Pinterest board ...

Join other Christian Writers in the Writing for Ministries Community ...

Get more devotionals for writers delivered to your inbox each week:

Get Wise Words Now

Return from The Exclamation Mark to Nonprofit Copywriter home

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
Powered by SBI! Learn more here.

Search This Site


Share This Page



Get Free Writing Tips

Stop Wasting Time!

Grab your exclusive FREE guide, "5 Simple Writing Tips You Can Put to Use in 10 Minutes or Less"

XML RSSSubscribe To This Site
  • XML RSS
  • follow us in feedly
  • Add to My Yahoo!