“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

What "E" is For!!! (and WWJD - at the Cafe)

Hope you'll stop by The Internet Cafe today - I'm there talking about the WWJD craze, and what I think Peter actually MEANT by the verse expanded upon in Charles Sheldon's classic book. I'd love your thoughts on In His (Not So Pleasant) Steps.

And now, it's time for everyone's favorite alphabetical meme.

Ordinary Lives. From a 2 z 4 u & me

Welcome to week five of my dear, dear friend Patty Wysong's From A 2 Z 4 U and me. We're work through the alphabet - one letter each Tuesday. No rules, other than your post has to relate to the letter of the week. Link up at Ordinary Lives and check out everyone else's post. Click on the graphic above for more details, and stop by Patty's blog to link up.
Dancing exclamation mark animated gif Pictures, Images and PhotosCurious, eh? Well, here at An Open Book, E is for exclamation points: and several other words that go along with them, like enthusiastic, energetic, and excited.

There is no doubt that I have an effervescent personality. Ask just about anyone I know (and likely just about anyone who has even SEEN me). I am more likely to be energetic and enthusiastic than not. It doesn't take much to get me excited about a project. And trust me - it's evident to anyone who sees me.

exclamation mark Pictures, Images and PhotosMy body is ever in motion, and if anyone were to document my everyday dialogue on paper or computer screen, she would likely need to use an excessive number of exclamation points.

And I use them. A lot. In fact I use an almost endless supply just about every week on the FaithWriters message boards. If any of you have ever placed in the FaithWriters' writing challenge, you likely have seen my wooowoos, which include me celebrating the writing accomplishments of my dear writing friends, with many, many letters of their names, and many, many exclamation points. It's just the way I celebrate. (click here one example - just for the uninitiated - scroll down a couple posts to see)

exclamation mark Pictures, Images and PhotosAnd how about Facebook? Twitter?  Emails? Oh yeah, my exclamation points are evident there as well. It's the way I am - and the way I choose to show my enthusiasm, energy, and excitement.

But not all my writing is like that. Though it has been an effort, my more formal writing (articles, essays, non-fiction and novels - and even often blog posts) has a lot fewer exclamation points in existence. They are, to be blunt, frowned upon in most published work. And there are certainly better ways (in formal writing anyway) to show a character's enthusiasm, energy, and/or excitement than tossing an exclamation point at the end of the thought. Body language cues, word choice, and other descriptions communicate the emotions much more vividly.

But don't expect me to cut down on them in my casual writing. I love em. They're fun, and seem to match my enthusiasm for life. (and aren't those animated gifs especially adorable?) And what would my woowoos be without them?

(please note: no exclamation points were used in the writing of this blog. Until now!)

Be sure to stop by Patty's blog for more E fun.

Paving Rough Roads With God's Presence


  1. What a fun post! Loved the animated guys! I love to use exclaimtion points too!!!

  2. Yes!!!!! A soul sister!!!! Why can't we use them this way? I love typing !!!! :)

  3. When you have an inner cheerleader/pom-pom girl like I do, you sure do have to restrain those pesky things in your professional writing. But they can't edit them out of my talking....!!!!!

    Laughing and waving,


  4. You are the exclamation point personified!!!! Love you very much!!!!

  5. Thanks for making me smile this morning!!!! I love exclamation points! Thanks for your encouragement and wooowoos! Love you!

  6. LOL! Those dancing, wriggling exclamation points made me smile today!
    I'm a big fan of exclamation points in casual writing. And ellipses ... and em-dashes. : )

  7. What fun! I love the animated ones in your post and also love to use them in casual writing. Exclamation points definitely suit your personality which comes through loud and clear, even online. Can't wait to meet you and your effervescent enthusiasm in person in August!

  8. Woo hoo! Go JO Go! When I think of you, I don't think of exclamation marks but of a big smile that lights up a room! Can't wait to see it for real in August!

  9. Not just exclamation points, but you love EXTRA BIG capitol letters, too!!!! Love you and your enthusiasm, Jo. ;-)

  10. Oh Jo. You are a smile with an exclamation point!! and yes, I love those things too!!!! =] =]

    Such a fun post!!

  11. You my friend are one of those people that everyone wants in their life! YOU are an exclamation in this thing called life!! YOUR WWJD post yesterday just smacked me in the face like a good friend will...you are one ELOQUENT writer girlfriend and an Even more Extraordinary friend...I am Exceedingly blessed!

  12. Your writing is so full of life - with or without the !!!s :) Love your article.

  13. I'm right with you, Joanne! (!!!)


Thanks for stopping by. I would love to hear your thoughts - please share them!

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