Two Rules for Using Exclamation Points
Exclamations are used to indicate great excitement or emphasis. In business writing, exclamation points should be used sparingly and only to add urgency, surprise, or disbelief to a statement. Business writers are expected to convey feeling or emphasis primarily through strong words and clear structures, not through punctuation. If you use exclamation points too often, the reader may become immune to their effect or may consider you unprofessional. There are two rules for using exclamation points in your writing:
- Rule one: Use them sparingly
Excessive use of exclamation points suggests that the writer gets excited over relatively small issues. This makes the writer appear immature and unprofessional. By limiting the use of exclamation points, you will appear more professional and credible.
- Rule two: Do not use other punctuation marks in combination with exclamation points.
Do not use exclamation points in combination with other punctuation marks, such as question marks, periods, and other exclamation points. An exclamation point alone is sufficient to express emotional content for most business communication. If you overuse exclamation points, they lose their effectiveness.
In the business world, avoiding errors in usage and punctuation is important for clear and concise documents. As a business writer, you need to follow generally accepted standards regarding exclamation points so that your readers understand your message and that you and your company appear capable and professional.