A pet-peeve, by definition, is petty.
After a couple of cheerful posts, I hope I've earned some credit, which I will use today on being petty. I’m aware this will turn off very nice people, some of them friends or colleagues. Feel free to call me petty and, hey, I beat you to it already.
One of my writerly annoyances is the use of exclamation points with abandon, when there really is no need. In fact, the less the use, the more effective an exclamation point is when it is needed.
Like the boy who cried “wolf.” (Actually, he cried “WOLF!” but I was trying not to use the *!*) When a paragraph is littered with exclamations, they cancel each other out. They also betray a complete lack of confidence in the words chosen to convey and have an effect.
Some writing friends have learned to tame this habit when writing stories. But I still get Emails from them that go something like, “It’s been too long! How have you been! I hope you are doing well!”
All right. After one of these^ I’m a little less well. But I recover long enough to scratch my head, moan a little, and give a warm happy answer that does not have a single -!- and, success, does not mention how ***!!!*** I am at yet another one of those.
I know I should be glad to have the communication. Goodness, I should be grateful for any communication. Petty, petty me. Told you.
With immense gratitude to the brilliant Debbie Ridpath Ohi-
See? I’m not the only one who noticed.
Have faith in your words. Ration your exclamation.