What is society’s fascination with punctuation? It’s all about the periods, the commas, the question marks, and the exclamation marks. It’s almost like the more you use, the better of a writer you’ll be – or the more intelligent you’ll appear to others. I mean sure, it’s fine in personal emails, or chats, or text messages; but when you move into professional (or pseudo-professional) writing, perhaps it’s best to leave the excess punctuation to the giddy 6th grade school girl besotted with the handsome young man who smiled at her:

OMG!!!! Did you see??? He just smiled at me……… like he looked at me like he like liked me!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

So let’s discuss some of do’s and don’ts in today’s writing.

DON’T use more than one exclamation point.

Right. We get it. Exclamation points are for telling people that you are emotional about something. You’re angry! You’re excited! You’ve just been taken hostage by zombies!!!!! One exclamation point is sufficient; using more doesn’t make it any more important or zealous. It just takes up good space on the written page (or real estate on a blog). I think we’re safely out of the ALL CAPS PHASE and people have understood that, even though they were just too lazy to type in upper/lower case, the reader was feeling as though you were yelling at them. Excessive exclamation points work the same way!!!!!!!!

DON’T use more than one question mark.

This one’s pretty similar to the one above about exclamation points, but in a questioning sort of way. Again, one is sufficient. Although, I do believe you could probably put both a question mark and an exclamation mark together to show that you’re very excited about your question… Or not.

DON’T use more than one, three, or four periods.

This one’s a bit tricky. There’s a single period at the end of a sentence. An ellipse […] which shows text is missing (and not that you’re taking a dramatic pause…………..) is made up of three (3) periods, not 15. Finally, if you are using an ellipse at the end of the sentence, then there will be a total of four (4) (3 for the ellipse, and 1 for the period).

Smiley faces are for grade school papers.

Believe it or not, I actually worked for a woman who owned her own business and signed all her letters with a smiley face. Really! A big ‘ol honkin’ smiley face! It didn’t matter if the letter was going to a prospective client, or was a request, or a proposal, or going to someone she knew or didn’t know. She signed her name, and then put a big (BIG) smiley face after it (not to mention she always had to have her full name and every degree she could think she ever earned after it – my father used to tell me what the degree letters meant: BS, MS, and PhD = Bull Shit, More Shit, and Piled Higher and Deeper). I haven’t worked for her in many years, so I can be as snarky as I want about her. She knows who she is. πŸ™‚ Sadly, everyone who got her letters laughed at this “business woman” who thought she was the greatest.

So hopefully………. We have all like learned something today, and can now like use our punctuation like professionals!!!!!! And i hope you’ll like join with me in this crusade!!! Would ya?!?!?!?!?!?!? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚