Don’t miss the message. Otherwise, you might get bit by a snake. Where I live, it’s a real warning, not merely a metaphor. I took the photo of this sign. Several other signs like this were through the park.
Copperheads are the biggest, but not only threat.
This isn’t a blog post about snakes, though. It’s about writing, mostly. So we’ll look at the metaphor part of the message.
Any editor knows three exclamation marks are too many. Usually, even one is too many. A proper editor would change a few things on this sign, but the message is important.
When you see an important warning, don’t get caught up critically in how it is said. The truth is still the truth whether they use a period, an exclamation point, or no punctuation at all.
If I go to a restaurant, I can invariably see errors. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, you name it.
My job is to say things well, and, within context, properly. I work hard to meet that goal. I also knew that an important message remains important no matter what. My role is to make that message as clear as possible.
This is a real sign, by the way. I took the picture. We have poisonous snakes where I live, and although it’s probably safe, the park managers recognize that visitors need to be careful. I trust their judgment and am careful accordingly. So I should also when writing and receiving other kinds of messages.
What do you think?