Punctuation Errors: Multiple Punctuation Marks
Sometime ago Maeve wrote a brilliant post titled “Let the Word do the Work.” On the article she was manifesting hes despair towards the common use of redundancies like “return back” or “speeding too fast.”
The conclusion is straight forward: it’s as if people don’t trust a word to mean what it means. The same concept applies to punctuation. Ever saw someone write that something was “absolutely amazing!!!”? What about when someone refers to a “dead silence…….”?
The exclamation mark, the ellipsis and the question mark have clear roles inside the English language, and you should trust them. Increasing the number of exclamation or question marks at the end of a sentence might appear to increase the overall emphasis, but in reality it just makes your text ugly and informal.
Notice that the ellipsis used at the end of a sentence should be followed by a period, for a total of four dots. On other cases limit yourself to three dots. Exclamation and question marks should be used only once.
This is a very simple rule, but the horde of over-emotional teens coming from MySpace and similar calls for a reminder.
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