View Poll Results: What is your opinion of exclamation marks?

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  • They are overused.

    1 14.29%
  • I have no real opinion on the matter!

    2 28.57%
  • I have no real opinion on the matter.

    1 14.29%
  • They are underused.

    2 28.57%
  • It really depends on the person.

    3 42.86%
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Thread: What is your opinion of exclamation marks?

  1. #1
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Exclamation What is your opinion of exclamation marks?

    Elmore Leonard said that "Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have a knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful."

    It is amazing to me that I can make significant judgements about a person who seems to have such an extreme view.

    I often read also that in the business world, the usage of exclamation marks is decidedly unprofessional, something which I don't particularly agree with but I suppose you generally have to live with the system.

  2. #2
    InvisibleJim's Avatar
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    !

  3. #3
    Ti centric krieger's Avatar
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    i don't use and like them much and think people who rail against them are asses.

  4. #4
    Creepy-male

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    I tend not to use exclamation points in a sincere way to express an affect -- that is, to express enthusiasm, anger or any other raw emotion. I think that the content of what one writes ought to be enough to elicit what one wishes to convey. It almost seems like the exclamation point somehow detracts from that rawness -- it makes one feel detached from it. I use exclamations more as a stylistic device to accentuate some sort of witticism or something along those lines. Either way I don't really care what others do with them. Yet I feel that people like Elmore Leonard, who dictate how others ought to express themselves, have their heads up their asses -- in order to dislodge it perhaps they do in fact need something pointed like this!
    Last edited by male; 02-27-2014 at 06:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    I find that they can be absolutely vital to the harmony and rhythm of a piece of writing, or at least, they greatly emphasise the expression and meaning. Lengthy passages can be used to convey your thoughts but an exclamation mark can be key to representing your mood.

  6. #6
    Idiot Iris's Avatar
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    I over use them, then edit them out to seem more low key.
    You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek.
    But first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril.
    You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... cow... on the roof of a cotton house. And, oh, so many startlements.
    I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the ob-stacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward.
    Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation
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  7. #7
    Creepy-male

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    Quote Originally Posted by Enter Laughing View Post
    I find that they can be absolutely vital to the harmony and rhythm of a piece of writing, or at least, they greatly emphasise the expression and meaning. Lengthy passages can be used to convey your thoughts but an exclamation mark can be key to representing your mood.
    Yeah, I think it just really depends on form and context. A brunt, "FUCK YOU!!!!" is much more effective in an informal written setting like chat, text message and perhaps email -- than something like, "I am disinclined to agree with your opinion my dear sir due to the fact that I take umbrage at your lack of discipline and ill manners..." Given the context and form the latter just appears totally unsuitable. In a Victorian novel, the former would be less appropriate.

    Perhaps a further question: What forms of writing i.e. poetry, novels, chat, text message etc tend to be more appropriate or lend themselves for use of exclamation points and which do not?

    My off the cuff answer: I'd say none of them in and of themselves because there are so many takes and perspectives that have been and will be written down -- however, for my tastes poetry seems the least suitable.

  8. #8
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    Trying to make way through Gulag Archipelago after 70 pages of "And then he was shot! And she was jailed! Oh the injustice!! Oh the humanity!!!" I'm finding myself being mostly distracted and annoyed by the author's use of them. It's as if he's unsure of whether he can make sufficient emotional impact by his words alone and overcompensated for it by inserting these emotional spams and hiccups in the course of his writing. Yet in other instances they seem to be well placed, adding a poignant highlight to the text.

    So the short answer would be - it depends on writer's use.

  9. #9
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    I like them when they are used parodically.

    .... as in Alexander Pope´s The Rape of the Lock:

    So spoke the dame, but no applause ensued;
    Belinda frown’d, Thalestris call’d her prude.
    ‘To arms, to arms!’ the fierce virago cries,
    And swift as lightning to the combat flies.

    If this is about literature, I usually hold nothing against them when they are stylistically justified.

    In people´s language I can barely stand them. They are red flags for insincerity and cheap drama.
    Last edited by Amber; 02-08-2015 at 12:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Queen of the Damned Aylen's Avatar
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    I try to only use them creatively, demonstratively, and responsibly.

    "When I ought to be thinking of heaven he will nail me to earth"

     







  11. #11
    Pookie's Avatar
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    In general it's not fun to read writings of people who take themselves too seriously, and Exclamation marks(!) are super serious. I find its best to use them as a curve ball, or when expressing a crude but sincere sentiment.
    I would say that ethically you are still supposed to act as if you have unilateral responsibility; but simultaneously you have to be able to see the other as a fully autonomous, free, aware person.

    Medicalizing social problems has the additional benefit of rendering society not responsible for those social ills. If it’s a disease, it’s nobody’s fault. Yay empiricism.

  12. #12
    Undecided QuickTwist's Avatar
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    I use them very sparingly so as to not over hype everything. Just too many time you see ! galore after whenever a pic of a cat or something is posted. It is extremely annoying. They greatly loose their meaning if they are overused. This is why I hate facebook.

  13. #13
    Poster Nutbag The Exception's Avatar
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    I Like Them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And now back to the LII scheduled program.
    LII-Ne with strong EII tendencies, 6w7-9w1-3w4 so/sp/sx, INxP



  14. #14
    killer wolf lemontrees's Avatar
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    i used to use them a ton, and then over time i evolved to not using them to seem more chill and "together"
    There was no place that destruction did not touch...At best it made everything feel flooded, urgent, while pushing towards decay and exposing the imminent failure of managing to maintain a form at all. Inside this was the kernel of wholeness. She could be broken down into a small, granular piece, a bit of debris jostling against other bits of debris, and in that friction there was some sense of having a boundary or a presence, and that thing-ness of the self, reduced to a basic instinctive sensation, was an almost-nothing feeling that, in its small hard knot of a numb halo, made it clear to her that you were here, you were now.

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