Can you tone it down?
April 10, 2018

When my friend Nancy Flynn joined us on the show recently to talk about business writing, I asked if she was particularly annoyed by anything she sees a lot of. “Exclamation points!” she said. And, yes. The gusto with which she answered warranted one. She’s seen correspondence from people that included an exclamation point at the end of every sentence.

I didn’t believe her. Surely she was exaggerating. Right?


Only a few weeks after that Darrell got an eMail from someone that had ten sentences. Nine of them ended in exclamation points.


If everything is awesome, as the saying goes, nothing is. And nothing’s inspired fewer exclamation points from me lately than not wanting to be that woman.

What did Nancy want to cover next? The use of the word “literally.” Can you imagine how delighted she was when I told her about a bar in Manhattan that kicks people out for using it? Well, not literally.

As Nancy talked I could see Darrell wanting to chime in. He knows I’ve been liberal -- not literal, liberal -- with exclamation points in the past. But he forgives me. Why? My enthusiasm. “You’re a walking exclamation point,” he said. “Literally.”

Thank you?