Is that many exclamation points really necessary?


Ben Whitlock

How many exclamation points are necessary to show that you are genuinely excited?

“I can’t wait!!!”

Yes, we know you’re excited. The exclamation points only emphasize the point; how many are needed though to prove your enthusiasm?

Here’s the thing: the past year I have been trained to NEVER use exclamation points in journalism. I’ll admit that in the past I may have used one to many exclamation points on occasion; any paper of mine written earlier than sixth grade is damning evidence. However, I now use them sparingly. My journalistic life depends on it.

Certain situations may allow for an abundance of exclamation points. This includes, but is not limited to, pop culture, newborns, TikTok and school. Just kidding-you might be clinically insane if the latter is true for you. 

I say that, but these past few months have been the ONLY time in my life that I have actually-and I hate to admit this-wished to go back to school (seriously, I wouldn’t have been caught dead saying this last summer). I have probably used more exclamation points in the past two months to express my hatred of COVID-19 and every lovely thing it brought with it than I have in the past two years.

Having said that, what’s the limit on exclamation points? Of course, this is subjective; a super optimistic person may use them every other word in a text message. On the other hand, a more pessimistic person may never use them. 

Exclamation points are overused, and that’s ok!”

— Whitney Jones

If you’re talking about Taylor Swift, no amount of exclamation points is too many. But, if your adviser is discussing news deadlines, being over enthusiastic may only show how cynical he/she is.

In general, one exclamation point proves your enthusiasm. Too many are too peppy, and the truth is, most situations don’t require any. But, if you are just super excited about life, use as many as you want-I would do the same if I felt that way. 

However, another Prowl reporter disagrees. 

“Personally I love exclamation points! They can make or break some sentences,” sophomore Whitney Jones said. “Exclamation points are overused, and that’s ok! I think they make me sound like a more fun and bubbly person over text messages!’

I just broke every rule that has been drilled into me for the past nine months: NEVER use exclamation points in journalism. She said it, though, not me.

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