(And Other Annoying Devices)
When I’m editing manuscripts, I somehow turn into the cruel and heartless eliminator of… exclamation points!!! Seriously, I’ve developed a hatred for them! People tend to WAY overuse them! Not to mention italics and bold, and that oh-so-effective use of ALL CAPS!!!!!!!
Here’s a hint to avoid coming across as amateur: Use the above devices sparingly in any writing intended for publication. (I’m being specific here, because in blogs, emails, social networking and text messaging, you’re free to go crazy.)
If you tend to use a plethora of exclamation points, do a search-and-replace in your manuscript and put a period in place of every single one of them. Yep, every one. Then you can go back and add an exclamation point here and there if you really must. But I’m not kidding: V E R Y . . . S P A R I N G L Y.
Same with other means of artificial emphasis: italics and ALL CAPS. Your writing should be so effective by itself that the emphasis isn’t necessary.
As for bold, don’t ever use it in running text! (It’s OKAY for headers!)
Isn’t THIS irritating!!!!
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