January 30, 2008

Exclamation Points are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!

When your argument falters on unimportant parameters like merit, logic or relevance, you can always rely on the unholy, bestial powers of the exclamation point!

What can this exclamatory mark do for you and your persuasive prose?

A lot!

Especially if COMBINED WITH ALL CAPS!

Did you see that?

Sorry. I mean...

Did you SEE that?!

Wow! It just works! There can be no dispute! The exclamation point is the ravenous, rabid wolf of the written word.

It represents the mist-shrouded swamplands of feral terror, especially if it hunts in packs!

Like this!!!

Here come some more!

!!!!!!!!
!!
!!!
!!

Aggghhhh... in formation even! Did you really have a chance against their volume, their tenacity, their savagery, their bluster and unreasonableness?

No. No, you didn't.

The exclamation point says what your words fail to on their own. It is a big, one-finger salute without the finger. A petulant "I'm not listening" spelled with one non-letter. Meaning you can never spell it wrongly. It can be used by anyone, in any situation, and it usually is.

Daring writers will even combine a hearty "Fuck you" with the conclusive, concussive fuck-you-again of the exclamation point!!

Daring mathematicians will denote the extremely awesome factoriality of a number like "N!" by adding the rhetorical, non-arithmetic flourish of a second mark. For example, 6!! is not the same as 120!; it merely indicates that six factorial equals fuckin' 120, man!

Don't let the feel-good charlatans and word merchants of literary theory convince you otherwise: the exclamation point remains a writer's most vital resource! It is the switchblade in the hand of the blind man - stab wildly, stab often and stab everything - because your words alone will never draw blood.

1 comment:

britts said...

Thanks, Brandon. I'm pasting on a little song my granddaughter Amelia and I wrote about grammar:
Exclamation Point
Exclamation Point
I’m Happy
I’m Sad
Exclamation Point
Exclamation Point
I’m very really mad.

Exclamation Point
Exclamation Point
Whatever feelings you have!



There’s a period. Stop
There’s quotation mark, speaking
And when we draw a question mark
It means we do not know.
Question mark? Question mark?

But exclamation point
Exclamation point
Means all the feelings you have.