I may not be the most punctual blogger, but I am the most punctuational. I can't stop myself from using commas. As de rigueur as it is these days to be a comma minimalist, I am old school and do what I was taught in my old school—place a comma between two independent clauses that are connected by a conjunction. I just can’t seem to shake it. Whenever I try, I see my teachers rolling over under their perfectly punctuated gravestones. But the same set-in-stone rule doesn’t apply to exclamation points. The only rule is discretion. Some loudmouths abuse this privilege by overexclamating; thereby, offending grammarians, librarians, and food-blogging authoritarians.
Why do some people use exclamation points when casually writing “hello,” while others save them for when their hair is on fire (which incidentally, is a little odd that they’re still typing while engulfed in flames)? Is the overexclamator a certain personality type? Do they naturally have more energy and joie de vivre, or is it merely an attempt at branding oneself as upbeat? Perhaps they are sincerely misguided in their inappropriate emoting, but I'm thinking there's a vast network of cokeheads in dank basements, and these exclamation points are cryptic cries for help. Betty Ford Center: take note. You could glean names for your mailing list by trolling punctuation marks.
Why all the hullabaloo over such a trivial point? An inappropriate exclamation point not only sets the reader up for disappointment by diluting its power when used again, it dumbs down the now. You might as well just dot your “i” with a daisy, make a paisley apostrophe, and call it a day. I’m not trying to be overly pedantic or semantic, but just as Gwyneth and Chris made a conscious uncoupling, I think people should practice conscious unexclamating. If you exclaim indiscriminately, it will ruin it for all the other exclamation points.
Case in points from two Seinfeld characters:
Newman: Hell-oooo, Jerry.
Uncle Leo: Hell-oooo, Jerry!
Newman: Hell-oooo, Jerry!
Uncle Leo: Hell-oooo, Jerry!
See my points?
If you’re wondering what these grumblings have to do with green garbanzos, I'll tell you. After spending 20 minutes at the store, meticulously picking out the freshest, firmest ones, I harrumphed myself home, only to embark on 40 more minutes of masochism, shelling the beans. Thank god for the tequila that miraculously appeared in my shot glass to lessen the pain. Note to garbanzos: I would like my hour back. You were fresh and lovely, but for the time spent, I could have given a TED talk, pontificating on the perils of overpromising through overexclamating. Instead, I got a cup of effing beans. Let me repunctuate. Instead, I got a cup of effing beans!
1 pot water
1 cup effing beans
Boil the effers for three minutes and enjoy (if you haven't already hung yourself).
Salt and eat like edamame, or do something else with them.
Maybe you could sautée the effers with broccoli, garlic, marjoram and pasta in olive oil.
Wanna know more about green garbanzos? Be my guest.