I have a bad habit of using exclamation marks when I write. Not that I'm a punctuation cheerleader who seems 'about to explode with how awesome what I am saying is!!!!!', but more that I tend to use exclamation points to try and convey something beyond monotony. However, I'm still wrong - redefining the English language to my own whimsy. Wikipedia defines punctuation marks as "symbols that indicate the structure and organization of written language, as well as intonation and pauses to be observed when reading aloud." An exclamation mark is supposed to be used to convey an exclamation of strong emotion or volume, and not simply to sound lively or mildly excited.
I'm not alone (or I am, and it's normal to yell on Facebook), but our ancestors never had to rely so extensively on constant communication via the written word. A letter written a century ago would take weeks, if not months, to reach its recipient, and so each word was approached with care and consideration. But now we have the internet. Now we have text messages and emails, twitter updates and blogs . . . we are an age of the written word, even if it does sometimes get woefully mangled by our younger generations. I, for one, refuse to contribute to the mangling, and I'm making a conscious effort to break my habit of misusing exclamation marks.
Conveying the right intonation is not the only challenge that punctuation can present. At Medelita, we often get questions about punctuation in regards to Name & Title Embroidery. Typically we recommend having as few punctuation marks as possible, especially when it comes to periods. Choosing RN or MD instead of R.N. or M.D. makes the embroidery ‘flow’ instead of breaking it up in our opinion.
However, it is a matter of personal preference. We like to say that embroidery is the closest thing to wearing your diploma - you earned it, so it is up to you how you would like it to look. We definitely see plenty of people use periods in their names as well in the title. We also see the comma eliminated and no punctuation, however, this can make it ‘flow’ a bit too much and not really distinguish between the name and title in our opinion. At Medelita, we ultimately recommend no periods and the comma between the name and title: i.e. Susan Smith, MD - but again, this is ultimately up to you.
Medelita is always happy to discuss embroidery options with you over the phone as well. We are available Monday-Friday 8-5 PM PST at (877) 987-7979.