I’m Hungry! The Proper Use of Exclamations

9 Mar

Are you hungry too? I can’t give you any food but I can give you some chicken dinner. Check out my friend’s blog for a serving of chckndnnr! It’s so informative! It will make you laugh! I enjoy reading the posts and I think you will too! No, I know you will enjoy it! Well, not quite.

Don’t get me wrong—you’ll enjoy reading my friend’s blog, but I didn’t correctly punctuate that paragraph. Exclamations are supposed to be used only with exclamations or commands—for example, “What a great blog!” or “Read the blog!” The use of exclamations only to emphasize a particular sentence is incorrect.

Seinfeld fans may be disappointed to learn that Elaine was wrong in “The Sniffling Accountant” (Episode 5-04) Check out the video below! (Note my proper use of exclamation.)

Her editor, Mr. Lippman, had the right idea about exclamations.

28 Responses to “I’m Hungry! The Proper Use of Exclamations”

  1. jparjets21 9 June 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Thanks for the shout out. You’re incredible!!

  2. johnlmalone 9 June 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    I have seen every episode of Seinfeld at least twice and though it never taught me much about grammar it taught me a lot about observational humour and situation comedy, both of which I employ in my short stories. and thanks btw for subscribing to my blog

  3. LindseyJoy 9 June 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    Thanks for reading 🙂 …and for the chuckle. I look forward to reading more corrections. Keep it up! 😉

  4. robincoyle 9 June 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Brilliant Seinfeld clips!! I thought I’ve watched every episode but I don’t remember this one!! Your link to your friend’s post doesn’t work!! How many exclamation points can I use in one comment!! Lots!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • berndavis 9 June 2012 at 9:34 pm #

      Thank’s for letting me know. I fixed it if you would be so gracious as to check it out again 🙂

  5. 12thsonoflama 9 June 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    Love your Seinfeld clips – can watch and rewatch (and have) hundreds of times. Greatest show ever created.

  6. catterel 10 June 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Such a joy to meet a fellow grammar nerd! I shall point everyone to your blog and save myself the trouble of explaining for the nth time – except when US grammar differs from British. A BIG thank you.

    • berndavis 10 June 2012 at 9:39 am #

      Awesome! If you see something on my page that differs from British, could you let me know? I’d be so interested in learning it! thanks!

  7. Carol 10 June 2012 at 10:40 am #

    I want you to know how very much I enjoyed your post, so I must emphasize those words with an exclamation point! I think I’ve developed a passion for those little guys along with a passion for the quirky little things called commas. I suspect they get used more than they should in my writing. Then again, it is my writing, so I can do what I want, yes? Right or wrong? Yes! Maybe not.

  8. SociallyGold 10 June 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I love Seinfeld!

    If my friend is having a baby, I would absolutely expect her to use an exclamation point! Thanks for following my blog!

  9. Roar Sweetly 11 June 2012 at 2:28 am #

    I’m very conscious of restricting my exclamation use in posts, but for some reason it seems polite to use an exclamation point in a comment. Love your blog! See.

  10. The Word Nerd 11 June 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    I do find that exclamation points are way overused, especially in casual writing. Love the clips! See? I do it, too.

  11. WomanBitesDog 11 June 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    I love using !!!!!. But usually only ! or perhaps !! Use sparingly. Otherwise they annoy.

  12. Marlene Dotterer 11 June 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    I love your fun ideas for correcting our grammar. I’m going to study your lie/lay example for an hour.

    Thank you for following my blog. I can see that I need to jump on over here, so I’m happy to return the favor. I’m always pausing in my writing to Google some grammar or punctuation question.

    Do you take requests? I can never figure out where the period goes if I’m using quotes around a word, at the end of a sentence. Is it inside the quote , which makes it look like the period goes just with that word, or outside to signify the end of the entire “sentence”? Same question with parenthesis.

    • berndavis 11 June 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      Thanks! That means so much! Absolutely. I have a whole list of stuff I plan on addressing and I’ll put that on it.

  13. twistnpout 12 June 2012 at 12:26 am #

    Hey! Thank you so much for liking my post. Though now I think you may have liked it only because you found my poor grammar so entertaining. Oh well, i’ll take it however I can get it.
    Love your blog and I’m enjoying looking through the posts.
    Please feel free to offer your constructive criticism at any time. I am very self conscious about my grammar.
    Could you do a post on the use of semi colons? I tend to over use and misuse all the time.

    • berndavis 12 June 2012 at 8:49 am #

      Sure! I have a long list of topics I want to address and semicolons is on it. Stay tuned!

  14. Katie H. 12 June 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    What a fantastic idea for a blog! I was an English/Linguistics major and am a grammar nerd as well–can’t wait to read more!

  15. Halina 12 June 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Brilliant Blog! I will keep reading – great for native and especially non-natives like me. Thanks for following my blog! (exclamation mark?!) Looking forward to more funny posts. (damn..I really have to think about punctuation now every time I finish a sentence?)

  16. HannahAlyse 12 June 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    I loved this post! I use both exclamation points and ellipsis (is that the correct word?) waaaay too much. Bahaha I loved that Seinfeld episode! Awesome blog 🙂

  17. Books, Libs, Scripts 12 June 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    Nice Seinfeld episode! Here’s what I don’t get, however: what does it mean that, “the use of exclamations only to emphasize a particular sentence is incorrect”? Incorrect for the purpose of what? Would the meaning of a sentence be any less clear because an exclamation mark is used for emphasis? After all, it’s clear to both writer and reader that that’s the mark is there for. Do grammatical rules have a life of their own divorced from the goal of communication?

  18. Books, Libs, Scripts 12 June 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Oh, and whether the correct use of exclamation marks is on par with the correct use of “hopefully” is not something I take a stand on, but what is your reaction to this article, http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/npr/153709651/the-word-hopefully-is-here-to-stay-hopefully, in which the writer said, “you could argue that the very unreasonableness of the objections to “hopefully” helps make the rule an efficient badge of belonging. No one could simply guess the rule. Somebody who came to “hopefully” armed only with a keen ear for English grammar and style would have no way of knowing that anybody had a problem with it. You can only know about it if you’re the sort of person who reads usage guides or who has tea with others who do”?

  19. Emily McFarlan Miller 13 June 2012 at 12:50 am #

    Your blog makes my nerdy, grammarian heart so happy. Thanks for following mine. 🙂

  20. Now I am Thirty 14 June 2012 at 11:41 am #

    Oh dear, I think I may be guilty of over using the good old exclamation mark –
    Great blog!

  21. From a Montana Front Porch 17 June 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Oh how I do love my exclamation points ! 🙂

  22. Wayne E. 18 June 2012 at 10:06 am #

    Thanks for posting this. I can’t believe I don’t remember that episode! Wait… Maybe I should say, I can’t believe I don’t remember that episode. (no exclamation point.” I’m still confused…

    Thanks for visiting Bo’s Cafe Life–I appreciate it.

  23. determinedmom 22 June 2012 at 10:07 am #

    That video was absolutely hilarious!!! (P.S. I apologize for being an abuser of exclamation points. Thanking you kindly for your understanding.)


  1. Prologue -> Ch. 3: Shout Much!?!?! | peel and read - 27 June 2012

    […] read a post in Blah Blah Blog about over using this handy punctuation. Visit the blog and read I’m Hungry! The Proper Use of Exclamations , pick up The Big Mango, read a few chapters, and tell me I’m not […]

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