Exclamation Marks

This article from the Guardian, written by Elena Ferrante, about the use of exclamation marks in writing, had me scurrying to my last novel to check how many I’d used in 84,000 words.

The answer is just one, and that was made by a dead forger who added an exclamation mark as an act of protest to her own signature in the corner of a spoiled painting she’d copied, which was found in her flat.

I’ve long known that exclamation marks are frowned upon by writing gurus. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said:

Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” 

Usually, it’s possible to indicate shock, fear and anger by word choice.

I admit that I commonly use exclamation marks in emails to friends, which are more colloquially phrased…

Do you overindulge in exclamation marks?

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