Sunday, January 25, 2009


ANSWER: There are only two times you need to use an exclamantion mark.

1) Use an exclamation mark at the end of a statement sentence that tells with great emotion. Examples: "You stepped on my face!", or "The House is on fire!"

2) Use an exclamation in an imperative sentence where you are addressing someone and yelling/telling them to do something.
Example: "Help me!" or a command not to do something: "Do not step on my face!". There is a choice to make using the imperative. You will not need an exclamation mark if you are quietly telling someone to do something such as: "Hand me that book of poems."

Otherwise, when writing a poem or story, try to forget the exclamation mark. Trust the English language to do its work.

According to Peg Russell, a writer is only allowed to use one or two exclamation marks in their entire writing career. I agree with her.


Anonymous said...

I promise, I will not step on anyone's face. (laugh) That is funny!
Uh,oh, I used one of my exclamation points. Now I only have one left for 2009.
I'm giddy from a full weekend at JCCFS.
Glenda Beall

Nancy Simpson said...

Hi Glenda, I know you have a wonderful time at the Folk School. It is like going to world that does not really exist. It takes a few minutes to get used to being back.

I'm giddy from reading so many wonderful poem story and essay manuscripts. I've always said I love reading what you all write. It is still true.