Monday, March 5, 2012
I probably went 20 years without so much as typing an exclamation mark as they're considered a big no-no in copywriting, and I still never use them in work. But they've certainly proliferated in my personal punctuation life as anyone who gets a letter or email from me can tell you. It's all very fifth grade-ish and I don't know how to explain (exclaim?), because life hasn't suddenly changed into an excite-a-thon of roller coasters, classroom crushes and spelling bee wins. Maybe there is a sense of urgency that comes with time and age. These days, I miss you just doesn't say it for me like I miss you! does. Same for Visit soon! Feel better! Hang in there! Keep the faith! and, most of all, I love you!!! (often with a few extra exclamation points tacked on for good measure). There's a great quote by Wordsworth that says "Fill your paper with the breathing of your heart." Excellent advice for a writer, which is any of us holding a pencil or poised over a keyboard trying to connect with another. And sometimes it takes an exclamation point, or three, to truly get the point across.