Never use ALL CAPS, bold or !!!

When it comes to website readability, nothing turns off a visitor quicker than the use of all caps, or too much bold, or the overuse of the exclamation point!!!!

Never, ever, ever use more than one exclamation point!

Regardless of what many people seem to believe, typing several exclamation points does not make a sentence seem any more important. Quite the contrary. Rather than conveying urgency, multiple exclamation points only scream “THIS IS LIKELY AN EXAGGERATION!”

Think about it: Do multiple exclamation points really impress you when you see them? Are you more likely to believe something because it has four blaring exclamation points at the end? Or do you have the opposite reaction? Most of us do. We are so used to desperate marketeers trying to sell us something with their exclamation marks, that when we see lots of them we sense that desperation and tend to discount what they’re saying.

This exclamation epidemic has become so dire that there’s now a name for it – the very unpleasant slang bangorrhea. Urban Dictionary goes a step further by calling bangorrhea a “grammedical” condition. Author Terry Pratchett famously said, “Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.” F. Scott Fitzgerald offered, “An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” Author and former social media coach Judy Dunn ponders the question: “When you overuse it, it takes the power out of it. So what am I supposed to be excited about if it’s everywhere? If everything is exciting then nothing is exciting, because it’s all the same.” Everyone from Mark Twain to Craig Ferguson has spoken out against this inhumane treatment of punctuation.

The saying, “Less is more” rings true in the case of exclamation marks. One will suffice for almost any occasion, and forming a small army of exclamation marks to attack your reader with excruciating force is entirely unnecessary. So when you’re the one giving the message, don’t let your desperation show by using lots of exclamation marks.

Don’t type more than a few words in bold or ALL CAPS.

Words that are in bold type or all caps draw attention to themselves because they seem different from the small letters around them. But if you type everything in bold or ALL CAPS, THEN YOU COMPLETELY LOSE THE EFFECT, SINCE EVERYTHING LOOKS THE SAME, SO NONE OF IT LOOKS IMPORTANT.

If you want to draw readers’ attention to something or to make a heading stand out, trying using a bright color, maybe a little larger — but keep the text that follows it normal.


You might also like:

1 Comment

  1. Found on the net 😉

    Noelle Levesque · Top Commenter
    October 16, 2012 at 2:27pm

    the 6th district has been represented by a dem FOR OVER 30 YRS! ITS TIME TO ELECT A REPUB FROM THIS DISTRICT! I WANT JESSE YOUNG MORE THAN BILL DISCOLL AND IT TOTALLY SUCKED THAN DUMB VOTERS DID NOT VOTE FOR JESSE! It also sucks that their is NO 3rd party candidate running! vote FOR discoll!

    Nicole Clark · Top Commenter · Sequim, Washington
    October 16, 2012 at 2:34pm

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *