Rant: I AM busy! And there’s nothing wrong with exclamation points.
April 13, 2011 • Glenn Murray
First: exclamation points
You know what? Exclamations are expressive. If I’m exclaiming, I use ’em. If I’m not, I don’t. Simple.
Asking people – particularly writers – to tighten up on exclamation points is misguided, I reckon. Writers know when they’re exclaiming and when they’re not. Occasionally we make mistakes in the heat of the moment, but if we pressure people NOT to use exclamation points, we’re likely to end up eliminating, not just exclamation points, but also the heat of the moment. And I don’t know about you, but I find the subject matter of most business writing is as boring as bat-shit. I certainly don’t want the writing to be boring too.
Oh, and if I want to use more than one exclamation point, you know what? I will! Language evolves. Punctuation evolves too. Deal with it. Social media and SMS have – yes, mark my words, HAVE – changed writing forever. Especially online. When I see more than one exclamation point, I see meaning in it. And that’s what writing’s all about.
Edit: Here’s proof Amanda’s on a mission:
And second: I’m not busy?! WTF?!
Now for you, James and Peter. (Note that I’ve never seen you two in the same room at the same time, so I have my suspicions…)
I know I occasionally procrastinate. I may surf the web or gaze at my navel. (Or blog.) But c’mon! I’m a grown man, and I’m fairly bloody smart. So when I say I’m busy, and you tell me I’m not, I think to myself: “WTF do you know?!!!” I run 2 companies. I’m starting a third. I have a wife, 4 mistresses, 3 kids, a mortgage, a house, a garden and a perverse need to remain healthy. (Ok, I don’t have 4 mistresses. But who’s counting?)
Late last year I won a contract to write SEO web copy for 49 car dealership websites in 2 months. 4,000-5,000 words each. Not spun rubbish, but high quality content, each. I outsourced just under half, but that still left me with a lot of work to do. And I can tell you, I worked 60-70 hours a week the entire time.
And what do you think happens when I’m working on a big job like that? Do you think everything else stops? You reckon I don’t keep getting quote requests? All the other work stops? No chance! I have repeat clients, too, you know. I can’t just let them down.
“But Glenn, there are 24 hours in every day. 60-70 hours per week equates to only 8.6-10 hours a day. Spread it out, and you’ll be right.” Oh really? Tell me where it’ll fit. When the kids get me up at some ungodly hour, I get them brekky and help them off to school. That’s the mornings gone. At 8.30-9am, I start work. I work all day, without stopping for lunch. At 5-5.30pm, I stop to help with the kids’ dinner, give them a bath, read books, brush their teeth, sing them a song, and kiss them goodnight. Then I help clean up the house after the day’s family adventures. (Although, to be fair, when I’m REALLY busy, my wife sometimes does this alone.) Then I come back into the office and work from 8pm to midnight-ish. Sometimes 2-3am.
AND I’M NOT BUSY?!
And before you tell me: “Everyone feels that way, but if you actually record your time, you’ll find you’re only working 6.3 hours per week…” You know what? I have a bloody timer: Yast. And I use it religiously. Plus, I work very efficiently; over the last 9 years in business, I’ve developed excellent systems to ensure that’s the case. So bugger off and patronize someone else!
Now have at it…