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Ten questions for Ines Lasch, intern at parson

Ines Lasch just finished her vocational training as a technical writer and is doing an eight-week internship at parson. We asked her ten questions. more ...

Vocational Training for Technical Communicators. How Does it Work?

Anja Schiel, trainee, and Ulrike Parson, CEO of parson AG, offer their insights into the vocational training for technical communicators. more ...

Make Technical Documentation Intelligent - From Content Management to Content Delivery

In this article, Martin Kreutzer and Ulrike Parson describe how you fill content-delivery portals with intelligent information so that users quickly get the right answers to their questions. more ...

parson's mentoring program

You sent the job application and the interview went well. Now comes your first day at work. Everything is strange: colleagues whose names you immediately forget, business processes, the ERP system. Even the coffee machine doesn't work right away. And where was that meeting room again? more ...

A year in London. I am not just missing my sock

May I present Parsons Green in London? I think it's a perfect name for a London parson branch. That branch is not planned yet, but a bit of parson is actually in London at the moment. Me. more ...

The Exclamation Mark Killer

I'll come right to the point. I dislike exclamation marks. I avoid them. One exclamation mark feels loud, two or more even threatening. If you use the right word, you won't need one. "You're an idiot." That will do. 

Terry Pratchet says: "Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind." I cannot agree more.

Don't get me wrong. I do not want to abolish the exclamation mark. We need it. According to the Duden, the dictionary of the German language, we may use it with commandsrequests, or exclamations:

"Give it to me!"
"But I want ice cream!"
"Ouch!"

We also like to use the exclamation mark with allegations and insults. Latter are common in social networks and online newspaper comments. There, the commentators like to fill entire lines with exclamation marks. They are also a favorite of the tabloid press. Just look at those headlines.

For those who love series of exclamation marks, I recommend the Ausrufezeichen-Vernichter. It's in German and translates into something like "exclamation mark killer": http://www.buchstabendose.de/dosen/ausrufezeichen.php. Try it anyway, it's multilingual.

In technical documentation, the exclamation mark makes sense. For example, we use it to indicate potential hazard:

"WARNING! Risk of burns! Do not touch the screen."

I suppose I could write a lot about warnings in technical documentation now. But I won't. I just wanted to say something about unnecessary exclamation marks!

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