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Punctuation, Part 2

November 27, 2010 - Brad Siddons
I don't care much for exclamation points. There, I said it. At the risk of offending letter writers and perhaps some teachers and other purveyors of the printed word, I have to say that the well-known two-piece punctuation is overused. I'll take that a step farther and assert that in about 90 percent of cases where it is used, it isn't needed. Used correctly, the exclamation will most often be found with an onomatopoeic word — BANG! for example — formed around the sound it names. Otherwise, you'll see it used at the end of many sentences to encourage celebration, participation, enthusiasm and a bunch of other things. In a great many of these instances, I believe, the exclamation point simply is not needed. The words speak for themselves. They don't need any help from a period with a headache.


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