My personal vendetta against !!!!!
I have waged a long and unsuccessful war against the exclamation point. I usually start with a gentle suggestion that if it is completely necessary, one exclamation point will do. After all, five suggests that the writer is manic or uneducated or lazy or the bane of my existence. Anyway, you get the idea.
Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.—F. Scott Fitzgerald
If a gentle suggestion doesn’t suffice, I try humiliation. In one famous case, I tastefully typed out the following F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke,” laminated it, and hung it at eye level where the offender was sure to find it. It took the offender nine months to see it and fire her salvo across the bow. She ripped it from its carefully chosen position, scribbled hateful words about how she would not take advice from an alcoholic who drove his wife crazy, and littered it with the offensive exclamation points.
I found it in my in-box. It read very much like hate mail. A small seizure followed.
Humiliation does not work for everyone. Some people take criticism well, but in my experience, most swallow it like Popeye eating spinach and come out swinging.
Maybe I need to fight fire with fire!!!!!! Engage in my own all-out ASSAULT ON THE SENSES. ENRAGE THEM WITH CAPITAL LETTERS!!! FRAGMENTS WITH INDECIPHERABLE MEANINGS!!! Ellipses … that trail off … EMOJIS THAT CONFUSE.
What was I saying?!!! …
But it only feeds the dragon.