How punctuation can trip you up.
When I set up my indie production company magnificent! back in 2002, I was looking for a name that people would remember. Something that spoke volumes about us but also had some cheek built-in.
After looking through various dictionaries, I came across magnificent. Mmmm. There had been PR companies called Brilliant etc, it worked for them. I checked with Companies House. Yes it was free. I checked with my email/hosting services. Yes it was free.
So I decided to go for that. I tucked on the exclamation mark because I wanted people to think – jazz hands waving – of The Magnificent Seven, The Magnificent Ambersons, Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Cheek. Built-in.
But, as I’m sure most of you will have immediately realised, you cannot put an exclamation mark in your web address or email.
So instead of cheeky, saucy, nod and a wink, I got pompous, bloated and self-important. This is exactly why the BBC will spend a fortune on its branding and police its use and misuse so carefully.
It’s like those sites which show you terrible website names… therapist.com, penisland.com etc based on people not thinking things through.
There’s a general rule amongst contemporary writers not to overuse (or even use at all) exclamation marks in Literature. I don’t know about that but I’d definitely say avoid them in your company name that’s for sure.