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Yesterday we received a comment that our blog would be far more credible if we didn’t use exclamations at the end of every sentence. We pondered this a lot as we do with all of the constructive criticism that we receive.

Now, when we set out on our year without supermarkets we never actually thought that people would be that interested in our ramblings. We have been really pleased with the response and as a result have worked very hard to ensure we write a new post every day. So far we have managed but it can be sometimes very difficult.

So yesterday when we received a comment about our over use of exclamations affecting the credibility of blog content we reviewed our posts and thought ‘oh dear we do use a lot of exclamations’.

This started a downward spiral of self-doubt; is our writing style wrong? Is what we are writing wrong? Is what we are doing wrong? We started to question our whole project and doubt ourselves. Now this post really isn’t an attack on the commenter at all, indeed the same person also said the post they had just read was ‘Awesome’ and this reader like other readers is entitled to their opinion.

Photo credited to Sara Juliet Photography

Photo credited to Sara Juliet Photography

So where is this post going? Well this post is a post all about a life lesson that Becksie really struggles with. This lesson is, just because someone criticises you doesn’t mean you have to change completely. Constructive criticism should always be considered but as the criticism receiver you have the right to stick just as you are. This is a lesson Becksie has often struggled with, something Ian doesn’t really struggle with and something we hope to strike a good balance with Lizzie.

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As we said earlier in this post this isn’t an attack on the criticism we received but a reflection on something that is often difficult for Becksie. Being your own person is in actual fact really hard in a world where everyone should conform, ironically this post is being written from Becksie’s iphone. Being true to yourself is extremely hard but being true to yourself is the key to happiness. In the past Becksie has spent a lot of time moaning, worrying about things and with the gift of hindsight, discussion with Ian, Aunty Leah and a few other lovely folk she can now see that she wasn’t quite being true to herself. So she is trying to rectify this.

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You may have noticed that not a single exclamation has made its way into today’s post. This was a test Becksie set herself in order to see if it was possible. It is possible and perhaps it has made the content more credible (although one should bear in mind that normally our content is a little fluffier) but it has not been easy to write or an enjoyable experience. The truth is this blog is very much the online version of Team Pugh. We are over excitable, quick moving, sometimes exhausting to be around, fun loving, fast talkers who use a lot of exclamations in our speech.

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Photo credited to Sara Juliet Photography

So, as we don’t want to change who we are, after careful consideration the exclamations stay, although we do promise to think a little bit more before we use them!


47 thoughts on “Exclamations

  1. Dear Team Pugh, please don’t worry about your exclamations, your blog and the way you write it is You! It’s your enthusiasm and joy at this trial you are doing that comes over in how you write. Keep on being yourselves. The blog is fantastic as is your determination to make not using supermarkets your way of life. All power to you.

  2. Nothing wrong with exclamation marks – I love them!!!!! And probably also use them a bit too enthusiastically at times too! To be honest I hadn’t really noticed how many you used – your posts always come over as being full of enthusiasm for what you are doing. Keep up the good work!!!!!

    • Thank you, we couldn’t agree more!! There is something about the !! that manages to say a thousand words and when they are in twins !! or triplets !!! they almost dance hehe xx

  3. You’ve articulated a difficulty I often have too. I suspect I have an uncontrollable – unreasonable – desire to be seen favourably and to please. Criticism, however constructive or reasonable, makes me very anxious. Learning curves, fun stuff.
    Keep ploughing on πŸ™‚

  4. You have a very readable style, don’t think the !!!! marks haven’t detracted from your blog at all. I’m following Team Pugh as I’m interested in what you’re doing, not bothered withyour grammar!

    • Thank you – this blog aims to be a fun record of our journey and we are under no illusions we will ever win any literary prize (although………. hehe!!!!). Thank you for commenting, reading and supporting πŸ™‚ xx

  5. i love the blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  6. piffle. Personally I am quite sparing with my punctuation but have never thought you went over the top. Your writing style shows your infectious joie de vivre and I am certain that the sucess of the blog is largely down to this (although it is a fascinating challenge too) Leave credible for the worthy news sites and stay as you are.
    That said, if you start mixing caps and lower case to show excitement I may have to stop reading πŸ™‚

  7. Random critiscism, however well meaning, online is such a harsh thing. Often it comes from people you don’t even know and their intentions are not clear. It can feel like a super downer. Well done for writing this post and well done for trying to be true to yourself. In the end of the day, that’s all you can do. Some may get it, others won’t.

    I like your blog, keep up the writing – with or without the exclamation marks.

    • Thank you – we intend to keep using our !!!!!Your right random criticism is sometimes hurtful but in this case it has had a hugely positive outcome. thank you for taking the time to comment and read! πŸ˜‰

  8. Its hard when you put yourself out there as a blogger, and its easy to take cirticism to heart (I know I do). Intention and humour are very hard to convey online, I search for hidden meanings in comments and have to be very careful when commenting myself as my warped sense of humour can sometimes come across as sarcasim. Dont beat yourself up about your writing style and the use of exclamation marks, your personalities shine through in your writing and thats what your blog is all about. I spend far too much time worrying about the lack of comments on my blog (thinking as no-one comments then no-one is reading and my blog isnt interesting to others) where I should be thinking its not about others Im doing this for me!. Yours is an interesting challenge that you have set yourself and is striking a chord with lots of us out there in interweb-land, surely if someone is getting hung up on how you punctuate your blog, then thats thier problem, not yours! Dont change a thing, you are fabulous as you are. :o)

  9. Most probably using a lot of exclamation marks is grammatically incorrect but…….your blog is about your life and your life is peppered with exclamation marks. Blog is a good way of summing up life in the 21st. Who would write Web Log all the time, thus blog Language changes and now the spelling and punctuation become secondary to the narrative. (most probably deserves a !)
    You have a rare talent. I used to write a monthly magazine article, that was hard enough to keep up with fresh ideas and insights. To do that daily. Wow!! URA* in the vernacular. Lv de blog.

  10. Totally agree with all the comments!! You are what you are and the exclamations show that – I’m prone to ‘over-exclamisising ‘ myslef! The written word can be interpreted so differently from the way the writer intended so don’t let it get you down – you have lots of loyal followers who love what you write and admire what you are doing. Keep buggering on, as Churchill used to say (apparently)!!

    PS How’s the dress project going? Haven’t done anything since the lovely day with you all!

  11. “to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

    Be yourself, Becksie!!!!……….and I don’t apologise for a single exclamation mark!! So there!

  12. I agree with Joanne, the exclamations help, imo, to get across your enthusiasm and excitement. Your blog comes across as a chat, not an essay so exclaim away if that’s what you want to do πŸ™‚

  13. We rely so much on body language which, in any print format, is hidden and the brevity of online communications has to be shown by symbols. That is why emoticons became so popular. Your exclamation marks are your way of showing your enthusiasm.

    Just be yourself!

  14. Surely your exclamations just portray how passionate you are about what your write! I over use them all the time but hey!! We have had our first little trip to the market today to survey what’s on offer for when I start shopping there thanks to your inspiration!! We were amazed at a) how much was on offer and b) how reasonably priced everything was (don’t want to say cheap as the quality was far from cheap it was just the price!) I’m also going to attempt your homemade icecream tomorrow just hope it goes well!

    Thanks again for all your tips!

    Sarah xxx

  15. You go ahead and use those exclamation marks where you see fit! It is difficult to set the tone sometimes on a blog but i think yours has been perfect. In speech wouldn’t it be so boring If we all spoke in a monotone without inflection? Your optimistic feel enthusiasm and chatty style are two of the things I enjoy most about your blog. Don’t stop being who you are – and exclaim away! πŸ˜‰ xx

  16. Doh! I wrote a long comment this morning, but then WordPress decided it didn’t remember me…
    I thought Mrs F said exactly what I feel. Couldn’t put it better myself. I worry that I often sound pompous, but I think it’s just being a bit too earnest.
    Your writing style is very individual, but it doesn’t take much reading to see that it reflects you. I think the energy and motivation that come over in your blog are what makes it inspirational and keeps enthusiasm from becoming too earnest. (See above!)
    I don’t understand the sense of ownership people have towards blogs. If you don’t like it, there are plenty of others to read. I follow zero waste home and Bea was criticised for a series on how zero waste shopping was more beautiful than ordinary supermarket shopping because people might feel bad because they didn’t have the same shopping facilities near them. What??!! By all means disagree with what people have to say, but I think how they express themselves is up to them.
    Keep up the good work!

  17. You know what they says about not being able to please all of the people all of the time…

    Sometimes as you say, you just have to let critisism wash over you. I offer worry about my writing style from posts and comments I post. But as time goes on I am worrying less.

    I hadn’t noticed any over use if I’m honest. I just found your posts engaging, and real.

    I say, don’t change a thing, be true to who you are, that’s why we are all here reading after all πŸ™‚

  18. I love love love your blog! I love your enthusiasm, and I too am an !!! user! You have inspired me and my husband to cut food budget, and try do without supermarkets. We feel life has just got to be one big luxury, and doing without does us good! Thanks for your ideas, they are great!!! X

  19. Yes, everyone is welcome to there throw on things and i’m sure you expected some and its their way having said that, DON’T CHANGE A THING, I love what you do and how you write it. Carolxx

  20. I haven’t read all the comments but I just wanted to add my two pennies’ worth and say, what a great post! I’ve also had to really learn that just because someone criticises something, doesn’t mean you should automatically change – it’s about being open, reflecting on what is said, and then drawing your own conclusion (which may be that you decide not to change after all). Personally, as a magazine sub-editor (among other things) I strip out most of the exclamation marks in the copy I work with, but there are definitely times when they are necessary. And particularly in a personal blog which is less about journalism and more about you, your family and your personalities, I think they’re just fine! x

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