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Punctuation

Note 157 – Multiple question marks and exclamation marks


It is unnecessary to add multiple exclamation marks (!!!!) or question marks (????) at the end of sentences. Daniel Scocco at Daily Writing Tips has written an article called ‘Punctuation Errors: Multiple Punctuation Marks’  and makes a very good point that we should trust the emphasis of the punctuation mark and not increase the number of them that we use.  He says that “in reality it just makes your text ugly and informal” which I agree makes sense. 

Wikipedia echoes this point when talking about exclamation marks  and explains that using more than one at the end of a sentence is “generally considered unacceptable in formal prose”.

Here are some examples:

Incorrect

  • How many times have I told you to get down from that ladder???  Get down now!!!!!
  • What a fantastic morning!!  Do you want to go for a walk??

Correct

  • How many times have I told you to get down from that ladder?  Get down now!
  • What a fantastic morning!  Do you want to go for a walk?

My thoughts:  I would have thought it’s quite common to use multiple question marks and exclamation marks when trying to make a point about something or when trying to sound more excited.  I can admit to using them in text messages and possibly in emails to other work colleagues; however, I will probably think twice in future before using them in a more formal/professional pieces of work. I wouldn’t want to look amateurish!

This blog forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/madeirasandra or my ‘Tips and LuxuriesFacebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…

Sandra

My writing challenge: http://wp.me/p1x6Ui-4

This blog: https://mywritingnotebook.wordpress.com

My other blog: http://sandramadeira.wordpress.com

My website: www.tipsandluxuries.com (includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Daily Writing Tips website: http://www.dailywritingtips.com/punctuation-errors-multiple-punctuation-marks/

Wikipedia website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclamation_mark

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About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Please let me know what you think of my blog - constructive comments welcome. Have a great day Sandra Freelance Writer www.sandramadeira.com

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Note 157 – Multiple question marks and exclamation marks

  1. Hi Sandra – just read about your blog in Writing Magazine. One post per day is amazing – two a week is the most I can manage!
    By the way, I agree multiple question & exclamtion marks can look amateurish and are best saved for personal emails & tests.

    Posted by Sally Jenkins | October 5, 2011, 12:16 pm

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Note 158 – Have you heard of the ‘interrobang’ punctuation mark? « My writing challenge - October 5, 2011

  2. Pingback: The Right and Wrong of Writing | Odds and Ends: Pit's Complete Waste of Bandwidth - December 15, 2011

  3. Pingback: Note 300 – Most popular posts since My Writing Challenge began « My writing challenge - February 24, 2012

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