This very clever infographic from HubSpot is simply brilliant. (We pause to reflect that we did not end that sentence with an exclamation mark, even though we might have wanted to.)
Why? HubSpot's humorous illustration makes the point that, more often than not, an exclamation mark is -- wait for it! -- not a good idea.
Unless you're creating a comic book or describing the moment someone screamed "Fire!" you need to let your word use convey the excitement or urgency or astonishment -- instead of punctuation.
Here's the honest truth: Excessive exclamation marks look childish in text of any kind. Of course, that doesn't matter in publications like the National Enquirer or your local grocery shopper. (New! Improved!) But The Strong Word suspects you're aiming for a higher level of craft, right?
So, strengthen your prose by reading it outloud and pinpointing where it lags or sounds cliched. Then rely on strong verbs to do the work.
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