Exclamation Explanation

OK, we'll watch our step on this wet floor, but please, lay off the exclamation points.

The overuse of exclamation points is nothing new. This punctuation mark certainly has its place in written English, but it proves most effective when used sparingly. Add too much excitement or emphasis with exclamation points, and eventually nothing is exciting or emphasized. Or as F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke."

Now that computers with a repeat-key function are commonplace, exclamation-point overuse is running rampant. This problem shows up particularly on blogs, sloppy websites, and comments sections (and wet floor signs). People must say to themselves, Why use one exclamation point when I can use three? Why use three when I can have nine? Why not send a battalion of exclamation points marching across the screen to proclaim the importance of my thoughts?

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Too many exclamation points dizzies the eye and weakens the words.