Many famed writers were no fans of the exclamation point

Six quotes from wordsmiths and grammar wonks on the overused punctuation mark. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Mark Twain, for instance, found it quite distasteful.

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This week I wanted to share some quotes from authors and grammar wonks who have some strong words to say about the beleaguered exclamation point.

Laughing at your own jokes

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Mark Twain also said the use of exclamation points was like laughing at your own humor, “all of which is very depressing, and makes one want to renounce joking and lead a better life.”

A cry for … attention

“As if by common consent, people turned to the ellipsis and the exclamation point. There must have been a reason for this. My theory is that both of these marks are ways of trying to keep the attention of the reader. One of them says, ‘Don’t go away, I haven’t finished, don’t go, don’t go,’ while the other says, ‘Listen! I’m talking to you!'” –Lynne Truss, author of “Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation”

Remember your English teacher

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