punctation marks

Someone sent me a list of suggested new punctuation marks, cutesy made-up things we should all learn to make our communication more precise. It's supposed to be fun, but it's a lot to remember, and I suggest that vivid writing might be an adequate substitute for funny marks. 

Several months ago, I outlawed exclamation marks in my writing, casual writing in letters to friends and my diary.  I started by substituting underlines to emphasize what I used to attach to ! or maybe to !!! if I wanted to be emphatic.  Shouting, of course, in computer language is achieved with CAPITAL LETTERS. I use them, too.  I write my diary in longhand (cursive) writing and easily added caps. Also circles and balloons.  The result is a very messy page, already messy with my increasingly illegible handwriting. Sometimes it looks a lot like cluster thinking, not a bad thing.

I actually tried to transfer the list of new marks, each with a description and an explanation  of the need for it, but the marks didn't survive the trip and the explanations without them were lame.  I think that one could achieve the required effect of each of the marks with effective writing.  I remember some early writing exercises designed to encourage skill, fluency and accuracy.  

"Without using your hands, describe an accordion."

When fitted sheets first came on the market I thought that would be a good exercise: "Describe  how to fold a fitted sheet."  The first ones came with instructions. Now, long since, you're on your own.  Mine are always lumpy.

I heard of one writing student who became so skilled at this kind of writing that he went on to a successful full-time day job writing instructions for the use of various products.  We can use all the help we can get.