Comfort {or excessive} Punctuation

July 27, 2012
Yes, you're at Diamonds, Dog Tags & Diapers :: in case you missed it yesterday, I introduced my new design. 

I get it. You’re mad or excited or you spilled juice on your keyboard so the key is stuck down or you just don’t know when to stop—like gambling. Gambling and punctuation now have something in common I guess.

We were taught in school (here I go again about grammar and school) to end a sentence with a period or exclamation mark, to end a question with a question mark. No one told us to end a snotty comment with an ellipsis…

Are we not comfortable enough in our own digital skin to express things as they are supposed to be? I am guilty of excessive punctuation and a lot of HAHAs and LOLs at the end of statements, though there are some people who ‘end’ every statement with haha or lol or . . .

After observing online interactions for a while, I really do think people are not secure enough to just end a sentence. Adding ‘haha’ or ‘lol’ means they are laughing at themselves and their statement a bit, just in case the other person doesn’t understand or takes it the wrong way.

No one laughs out loud that much.
LOLed.—soooo you just laughed out louded? Interesting.

Ellipses {…}
To me, an ellipses implies controversy or a negative tone. Duh…
In most cases you could replace … with “I can’t believe you didn’t (think, know, realize) that.” There are times when someone types something genuine, but with ellipses, it sounds negative. “Thanks, Chelsea…” I got that email when I did something really great for someone at work. Why the dot dot dot? Ellipses are often used to be vague on the internet, whatever, I get it, but it’s always overused incorrectly and not used properly. Yes, I do use … but I don’t use it to be rude… (see that, that seems rude because the dot dot dot implies that maybe YOU do it to be rude). Know what I mean?  If you want to know how and when to use ellipses, check out Grammar Girl.
Punctuation is often used to express feelings. There is no better way to express something than through words. Spend more time conveying what you mean through language and leave those poor punctuation marks alone!!! {see what I did there? Ha ha}

I love writing. I love writing! I love writing!! I love writing…
What do you imply from each of those?

The worst thing I’ve seen online lately is the use of periods instead of question marks and exclamation marks instead of question marks. What sense does this make?

What are you having for lunch. I can’t believe she did that? When are we going to the mall!

The poor children growing up these days are going to be so confused or they are going to think this is the right way.  

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Using the English language the way you learned it {the proper way} is okay. It doesn’t make you a nerd, it makes you a human.

Use words. One period. One question mark. One exclamation mark.
But not at the same time!?

Don’t get me wrong—we all do it and sometimes it’s okay on Facebook, but I don’t think it’s okay in a professional email. Sometimes, it is okay to show that excessive excitement to a friend via text or Facebook. Gone are the days of verbal enthusiasm. When you see me !!! or ???  don’t slap this post in my face, it’s a mere observation {and my blog where I’m titled to my opinion}

Related Read: I don’t love grammar.


  1. I totally always type periods instead of question marks on fb chat. I just don't care.

  2. First, I totally agree. Second, I'm guiltier than sin on this one. As a legal writer and soon to be grant writer, I must write clear, precise sentences all day long. Sometimes I use social media as a fun break and take too many liberties with my grammar and writing. Plus I grew up with teachers who taught us to spell words "how we think they should be spelled" so I have to be very careful with spelling. I'm trying to reign it in and find a balance. Obviously Our Military Home and my personal blog require a more informal tone. I'm still learning to adapt to different writing styles.

  3. I'm a bit of a walking condradiction because I'm a grammar nazi but I use more than my fair share of punctuation in the online world. My defense is that words are hard to convey in written term and I'd rather over use 'haha' or, gasp, a ':)' than someone misinterpret me.