Linguist Geoff Lunberg investigates the varying (and sometimes extreme) opinions surrounding the exclamation point. According to his research, women actually use the punctuation more than men, and both corporate and educational codes generally ban its use with little justification other than prescriptive rules of taste. Lunberg makes an argument for why we should all be more generous with our written exclamations. Essentially, he argues that whereas the written word can become a muted translation of our lived experience, the exclamation point is a way to revive our writing–it is a way to reinsert the vibrancy of the spoken word into the realm of the written. Where do you stand on this point? It may be time to rethink your disdain for the effusive, over-the-top exclamation point.
Posted in Interesting Reads.