Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Really Random Tuesday #39: A Bad-Dog Book Winner and the Judicious Use of Exclamation Points

Lady Luck has chosen a winner! Please congratulate Zibilee from Raging Bibliomania, the randomly selected winner of a very funny book, Another Bad-Dog Book by Joni B. Cole. Zibilee, the author will be sending you an autographed copy of her book soon. Congratulations!

If you didn't win this time, please take a look at the other giveaways listed on the right side of my blog.

Wednesday Update: All congratulations have been transferred to Carol N. Wong. I selected a new winner as Zibilee let me know that she received a copy of this book from the author because of her interest in it (and because her book blog is outstanding). Congratulations, Carol!


Grammar and good writing are changing. The rules I learned in school seem "old school" at times, as written language evolves to reflect and include various electronic social media, such as texting, email, blogs, Facebook (which I prefer to capitalize and do, but that's a discussion for another day), and Twitter.

"Cut out all those exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own jokes."
—F. Scott Fitzgerald

I try not to use exclamation points too often in the book reviews I post here--that would be like laughing at my own jokes, chronically underestimating the intelligence of my readers. Additionally, when exclamation marks are overused, it lessens their value and impact. But, I use them more and more in comments I leave on other blogs, and frequently when texting or sending brief, casual emails. In short communications, they work well. Without exclamation marks, my pithy statements may sound flat and expressionless, whereas when I insert them, my words spring to life and become lively, animated. They become more compelling, instantly. Yes, exclamation points are a shortcut, but they help to quickly communicate interest and enthusiasm.

Sometimes, far less often, guiltily, I use multiple exclamation marks in informal communications--my limit is usually two or three. I'm also a fan of "?!", which I use occasionally. I've heard it disparaged by traditional grammarians but I employ this configuration to express a sense of surprise and (usually) admiration: did she really go to Kazakhstan?! I think you get the picture.

What about you? How do you use exclamation points in various forms of writing?


Appearing on random Tuesdays, Really Random Tuesday is a way to post odds and ends--announcements, musings, quotes, photos--any blogging and book-related things you can think of. If you're inspired by this idea, feel free to copy the button and use it on your own blog. For other recent Really Random Tuesday posts, visit Avis' blog, she reads and reads, and Naida's blog, the bookworm. Please leave a link in the comments if you’re participating and I'll add it to this post.


  1. I love ?! … I think it is a nicer way of communicating WTF. My son is in love with the exclamation point once he learned about it. He definitely overuses it!

  2. Happy Tuesday :)
    Well, I'm a big fan of the exclamation point, I must admit I use it often. I also use ?! :P

  3. Oh boy, do I every overuse exclamation points when it comes to blogging and commenting! So many of the old rules have flown out the door, I feel like I'm a dinosaur.

    Congratulations, Heather!

  4. Congrats to the winner of what looks like a really funny book! (I used an exclamation point).

  5. I use exclamation points also at times. I sometimes like to us ?! also, but not often. I must say I never thought of them as "laughing at my own jokes." That was a new quote to me, and I love quotes, so always glad to find ones I haven't heard before.

    Congrats to Zibilee, HAPPY READING!!!

  6. Yes, I use exclamation marks ! (?), because I like when people are enthusiast ! (?)

  7. Congratulations to Zibilee.. I have a chronic problem of over-using exclamation marks.. Trying to reduce their appearance these days ..

  8. Thanks for the win Suko! I will be contacting you today! And as you can see, I love exclamation points. I know that I over use them in my commenting, but I hardly ever use them in my own reviews. Something about the nature of commenting seems to require frequent exclamation points! See what I mean?

  9. I've updated my post--thanks for letting me know, Zibilee. And thanks to everyone who left a comment.

  10. Thanks so much for this great book, I know that I will love it.

    Yes, I do use !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,
    especially when I love something!

  11. I am guilty of this !!!!! and this ?! and this )*&^&^$%$(*& and this ;) I think it shows all kinds of personality :)

  12. Cute post. I happen to like exclamation points and any other ways to enliven our comments!!!!

  13. I overuse exclamation points all of the time!!! (See previous sentence. LOL!) I also overuse almost any other punctuation you can think of. It's a habit that I can't seem to stop!

  14. Well done Zibilee.

    Quilty as charged, I also overuse the !!!!!!!!!!.

    Just to let you know I'll be posting My Sister's Keeper and possibly Sing You Home tomorrow if you'd like to stop by.

  15. Petty, I look forward to reading your thoughts on the Jodi Picoult novels. Thanks very much for letting me know!

  16. I only use exclamation ppoints when I write comments on blogs. I'm trying to ut down... ...Harvee

  17. love this post. is there anyone who DOESN'T use !!?


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