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  1. Peter Shallard wrote on

    As I write this to you (literally and truthfully) from the infinity-poolside/bayside restaurant of the spa I’m staying at…. in Southbeach Miami… I can’t help but think:

    Even if you’re RIGHT and you WIN… you still lose :P

    *Pauses to stir mojito and snack idly at hummus and olives*

    Thing is, I’m not saying that everyone is totally un-busy. I’m saying that most entrepreneurs can (and often DO) get all their shit down in far less time than they think they need.

    Yours is actually another example – you scored a big corporate gig. The stuff freelance wet dreams are made of! Congrats btw.

    And yet, despite the enormous busyness that the gig forced upon you… you STILL delivered quality work, kept the mistresses happy and the kids fed. Etc etc.

    I’ve had corporate gigs that have made me take on a similar workload.

    The point is, you kept all the other elements of your business spinning (just!) while facilitating the corporate gig. AND, you could just as easily NOT take another corporate gig like that and continue to rock the biz … Leaving all that time no longer spent on the corporate gig FREE!

    You could use that free time to, as I have done, party. OR, you could use that free time (as I intend to) to build a bigger, better and more passive business.

    Just sayin’

    You’re busy working in the same way that I’m partying!

    … aaaand, now I’m gonna go back to my drinks/dinner/sunset combo.

  2. Amanda Gonzalez wrote on

    A tantrum? Use your words, boy G. Otherwise I might give you a smack.

    Of course exclamation marks have a place. But I shouldn’t feel like I’m about to hyperventilate after reading a piece of copy. Honestly, 17 exclamation marks and four interrobangs?

    Exclamation mark abuse is plain lazy. If you can’t figure out how to express yourself with words, then either pay someone to do it for you — or don’t say anything at all.

    And remember, as a professional copywriter, you’re permanently being watched. If you can’t be bothered representing yourself with proper language, why would a client trust you with theirs?

    MY face is angrier, thank you very much.

  3. Patrick Vuleta wrote on

    Good response, Glenn.

    I can see how you can claim you’re busy and Peter’s post is irrelevant – you’re the model of efficiency (/flattery).

    Yet Peter must write for all people, and I trust him when he says there’s a lot of people that think they’re doing so much work when really, they aren’t. To achieve efficiency it makes sense to constantly question this.

    About the exclamation points, well… Facebook has changed the world, but it still doesn’t make Arial a good font. English can go backwards as well as forwards.

  4. Rachel Eldred wrote on

    Use as many exclamation marks as you like in your copy … if you want it to read like bad advertising. But please don’t ever use multiple full stops for an ellipsis …………. I couldn’t live with that!

    PS It seems your preference is for the American exclamation ‘point’. I prefer the British exclamation ‘mark’.

    PPS Love the images! Good work, Amanda.

  5. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    Great comments, guys. (Except if you disagreed with me… ;-)

    @Peter: Hmmm. I’m not so sure my story was another example of being able to do far more than expected in less time. I simply spent more time. And re sacrificing guaranteed corporate revenue to spend time setting up a passive business that MAY succeed? I’ve been in business too long to take risks like that. Unless you’re backed by money, new ventures, passive or not, play second fiddle to bread ‘n butter. But I like the way you party.

    @Amanda: Ok, so it’s OK to emphasize with capitalization (“MY”)? Whatever happened to “If you can’t figure out how to express yourself with words, then either pay someone to do it for you — or don’t say anything at all.”??? And if exclamation marks are getting the better of you, perhaps there are underlying issues you should address… ;-) (Oh, I mean *wink* ;-) (Oops, I mean *wink* again. This word stuff is just so gosh-darn complexificated!!!)

    @Paul: No, that’s how “bat-shit” is spelled in all the quality publications.

    @Patrick: I agree. I think we’re all constantly refining our efficiency. But there comes a time when statements like “you’re not as busy as you think you are” simply don’t apply anymore.

    @Rachel: I don’t care if my copy reads like bad advertising. I care only that it’s *effective* advertising. If multiple exclamation marks provide extra meaning for my audience, then by Jove, I’ll use ’em! I have to say, I’m personally not a fan of extended ellipsis either. But I’d use that too, if it meant something extra to my readers. Point versus mark? I never really gave it much thought. I think I alternate between them as a result. Good work Amanda? MINE’S far angrier!!! (*wink*)

  6. Patrick Vuleta wrote on

    What I do agree with you on exclamation points in that last comment is if it works for the readers… use it. Comes down to knowing what your readers want, and not making undue assumptions for them. Presentation’s important, but writers can’t afford to replace their readers’ wants with their own.

    I liked the exclamation points in this post, and I’ll use them sometimes in my own writing.

    But I’ll try not to get overexcited in awkward moments. I just have horrible memories of watching personal injuries litigation ads from the States which said “Get what you deserve… Get The CASH!!!”

    !!

  7. Glenn (Owner) wrote on

    @Patrick: That’s priceless: “Get The CASH!!!”

  8. Amanda Gonzalez wrote on

    @Patrick: Thanks for your thoughts.

    Frankly, readers don’t care about the mechanics. They care about what’s in it for them. If they’ve even noticed the copy, at best, it’s good copy. If they’re too busy taking action to stop and admire your handiwork, then your work is done.

    But to make your copy so good it’s not even noticed, you need to nail your mechanics. Badly written and punctuated copy might just be the thing that stops your reader from taking action. And subconsciously so.

    Use what you need to, when you need to.

    @Boy G: I had to read your comment thrice to get the gist. Tsk, tsk.

    Of course emphasising with capitals is fine. After careful consideration, it was the best fit for what I wanted to express. I used what I needed to, when I needed to.

    But is adding a stream of exclamation marks adding to your expression? Quite the opposite; it dilutes your message — and it’s an eyesore.

  9. Patrick Vuleta wrote on

    @Glenn

    That was on top of the explosion visuals in the background.

    @Amanda

    I agree with what you’re saying about good copy being invisible.

    To date I’ve never had an excuse to use a multiple exclamation mark. It just wouldn’t work for my readership.

    I’ll combine italics with a single exclamation point happily, though. There are more levels of emphasis than just adding more punctuation.

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  11. seo adviser wrote on

    Yet Peter must write for all people, and I trust him when he says there’s a lot of people that think they’re doing so much work when really, they aren’t. To achieve efficiency it makes sense to constantly question this.

  12. Copywriter Johannesburg wrote on

    I must admit I am partial to an exclamation mark from time to time. They are like little accents at the end of a sentence that add boyish/girlish intensity. Not always for me the dry rule of: Never use exclamation marks!

  13. Peter wrote on

    I agree, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional exclamation mark. In fact, in some of the copy I write (such as certain newsletters), it’s expected. Although here in the UK they’re known as ‘screamers’.

    As for your schedule, all I can say is…

    Wow!

  14. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Ha! Screamers. I like that. And that’s about all I can say about my schedule too. ;-)

  15. Judith wrote on

    Love the back and forth about the merits of exclamation points. :)

    I’m guilty of using a lot of those – but only on my personal social media accounts. I find myself having to reign it in for business copy. So you could probably say that I have a double standard on this. :/

  16. Mike Robinson wrote on

    It seems a lot of the angst about using exclamation marks is down to the fact that they are somehow seen as unnecessary. Surely they’re not, they’re used to express an exclamation. Multiple ones annoy me, but I doubt I would be the target audience for copy that used them and if the audience does identify with this use then I suppose it will improve response and therefore sales. Are we really there to teach grammar or is it to provide ROI?

    But for me something about “Learn about the correct use of the exclamation mark today!!!” just doesn’t seem right…

  17. Glenn Murray wrote on

    Hey Mike. Agree. Esp with your last point; three exclamation marks are clearly not enough for a headline promising so much. Good observation!!!! ;-)

  18. Pingback: Rant: I AM busy! And there’s nothing wrong with exclamation points. | SEO and Link Building Tips

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