While writing this month’s newsletter (arriving in your inbox today), I realised that the entire page was littered with exclamation marks.
Why, I asked myself, did I feel the need to include even one, let alone fourteen?
I know that the overuse of the mark is frowned upon, and admittedly they made the newsletter page look untidy, but there was no denying that they also made it look friendly. The exclamation mark at the end of the heading ‘Welcome to Bookarmy’s May Newsletter!’, made the otherwise ordinary title seem personal, exciting, uplifting even, just as ‘Hi’ communicates a rather even-toned greeting, adding an exclamation mark injects genuine pleasure into the same salutation: ‘Hi!’
But why does this one symbol hold so much meaning? Why does it have the power to alter the meaning of words and change the entire tone of a sentence?
Then I found that Stuart Jeffries had been musing upon the very same subject:
Just in case you are wondering, I culled the fourteen exclamation marks to just two.