11 examples of exclamation point abuse

The punctuation mark is meant to add emphasis, but unless used sparingly, can serve as an annoyance. Here are instances of improper use.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

There’s a “Seinfeld” episode in which Elaine breaks up with her boyfriend over his failure to use an exclamation point.

If you don’t remember it, Elaine’s boyfriend had written down some phone messages, one of which said that her friend had a baby. Elaine found it “curious” that he didn’t think someone having a baby warranted an exclamation point.

“Maybe I don’t use my exclamation points as haphazardly as you do,” Elaine’s boyfriend tells her:

I’ve had several conversations recently about the overuse, abuse, and misuse of exclamation points. These days even the most mundane statements receive exclamation points.

Why all the emphasis? Have we forgotten what we were taught in elementary school? If everything is emphasized, nothing is.

[FREE WEBINAR: Hot Comms Summer]

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.