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The Mystery of Nancy Drew’s Annoying Punctuation

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I read anything and everything I can get my hands on because I never know if something might spark a new idea for me.

That’s why I recently read a Nancy Drew mystery.

Nancy Drew was a young, fictional female detective who solved all sorts of mysteries. These books were published in the 1950s and girls loved them. Today they’re collector’s items.

So there I am, reading ‘The Clue In The Crumbling Wall’ and something is bothering me! In fact, it’s distracting me something terrible, to the point where I’m having trouble following the story! This thing keeps appearing, even when it makes no sense to appear! And every time I see it, I stop and try to figure out what the author was thinking!

Yup, you got it.

There are so many exclamation points in that book that I have to wonder if the author was perhaps addicted to them. Maybe she didn’t have a lot of confidence in her writing and felt that adding exclamation marks would somehow make her sentences more compelling.

News flash: Every sentence!! Is really not!!! That exciting!!!!!!

The Chicago Manual of Style says to use the exclamation mark “sparingly to be effective.”

I agree!

(Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Here’s an article from the BBC revealing perhaps the biggest exclamation mark offender of all times.

One note: Exclamation marks can save lives. For example, there’s a big difference between “Duck” and “Duck!”. Ha! Love it.

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