Over-Punctuation

Amateur writers, whether from excitement or heavy fingers, have a tendency to overuse certain punctuation marks in attempt to translate their own emotions into the reader. As with italics, over-punctuating reveals only the writer's intent, which often the reader does not feel to the same effect. A trailing thought trails no harder when its ellipsis consists of ten periods rather than three; exclamations and excitement need only one exclamation point; and a terribly intriguing question still warrants only one question mark. Even the shouted question needs only one punctuation markā€”an exclamation point if the question is understood or a question mark if the exclamation is understood (or not as exclamatory as the writer may think): prefer Are you kidding me? or Are you kidding me! to Are you kidding me!? In this case I prefer the first approach, as the idiomatic expression comes with a certain exclamatory incredulity that does not require reminding.