Kill Those Exclamation Points!


In keeping with yesterday’s affirmation to stick to reading and writing material on this blog, I’m sharing ten of William Safire’s “Fumblerules.” One of the many things I’ve learned about writing is that there are rules, rules, and more rules. At the same time, there are those who insist that if you know the rules, you can break them.

  1. No sentence fragments.
  2. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
  3. Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
  4. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  5. Writing carefully, dangling participles should not be used.
  6. Kill all exclamation points!!!
  7. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  8. Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  9. Don’t verb nouns.
  10. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
  11. Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.

What’s your favorite of the above? Or should I ask, what’s your problem area? I’m guilty of verbing nouns and using too many clichés. And my writing group feels that I use too many exclamation points. “Use them sparingly, like if there’s a fire,” Doug said.

Okay, got it. And just as soon as I text my daughter, I’ll give Safire’s “Fumblerules” a shot!

About jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer
This entry was posted in writing, writing critiques, writing tips and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Kill Those Exclamation Points!

  1. Good post. Have a beautiful day!


  2. Connie says:

    !!! Love ya…not killing my exclamation points or my misuse of ellipses (…)? Rules were made to be broken oops cliche’


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