It’s My Party, I’ll Exclaim If I Want To!


A column this week from Washington Post writer Kathleen Parker caught my attention for chastising anyone who uses exclamation points in their writing.

“To exclaim is to seem silly, shallow and self-absorbed,” she wrote, “or, conversely, sarcastic, snarky or sneering.”

She blames social media for the overuse of exclamation points, and dubs President Donald Trump the “exclaimer in chief.”

Wow. (Or…wow!) I’m a fan of the exclamation point, in the right setting. It probably doesn’t belong in most of the documents I write or edit, but it has a place in emails and texts for sure.

I use it to indicate surprise or pleasure. I use it to ask people to prioritize a request. I use it to congratulate someone for a job well done. I use it to emphasize a strong opinion.

In short, a single exclamation point can come in handy. And for me, it is certainly not – as Parker wrote – an indication of “faux friendliness.”

It's actual friendliness, at a time when there's far too little of that.

(Image courtesy Alexandra_Koch/Pixabay)