A couple of days ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she loves commas, so much so that she tends to overuse them. To which she received comments from her geeky friends (including me) regarding which punctuation marks were their favorites.
One friend owned up to adoring exclamation points!!!
Another, ellipses… (and another, parentheses).
I, of course, love my em-dashes and hyphens and I use them constantly even when writing—pen-and-paper writing! I think it’s due to the fact that my brain starts and stops in thought and conversation—much like this—and I want to mirror that in my writing—to get my voice and inflection across. Sometimes there are longer pauses … as I am fishing for just the right word… I like to be precise and to make sure my point is well understood. I also love exclamation points! They convey my zest for life, and the joy I find in so many things!!!! And really, can one actually have too many commas? I submit that, when placed correctly, one cannot! There should neither be too few nor too many, but precisely the right number. (I’m all for the oxford comma, btw, and use it faithfully).
Perhaps one can have too many commas, or ellipses or exclamation points or (I shudder to say) even em-dashes. Yet punctuation conveys personality in a character or in the writer’s voice itself. Quashing them altogether dulls the shine, makes generic the specific tone of a given writer. Work with me and we’ll find the balance together, neither too many, nor too few, but precisely the correct number of commas or exclamation points or [insert your favorite punctuation mark here]!
Adapted from an original post on April B, Soprano (November 6, 2013)