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A punctuation problem

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Wide White: A punctuation problem

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

A punctuation problem

The more communication moves to text-based formats - instant message, text message, email, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. - the more people try to come up with creative ways to express their emotion. One of the most common - and often annoying - is the exclamation point.

Here's an example of what you may find in a text message response or Facebook response:
Thanks! Have an awesome day! I can't wait to see you!
Here's what the same response looks like without the exclamation points.
Thanks. Have an awesome day. I can't wait to see you.
This just lacks some of the pizazz that the exclamation points bring. The bland periods say, "I guess I sort of care."

So, we use exclamation points, and as our left pinkies wear out, we find that one exclamation point isn't enough, so we make it 3 or 5. If we find our a friend is expecting a baby, we throw 10 exclamation points in there.

What about moderation? What if that response said this:
Thanks. Have an awesome day. I can't wait to see you!
Would that really be such a bad thing? Can we live with just one exclamation point per paragraph - as a start?

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Anonymous Ellen declared,

I find it humorous that you used four en dashes and one hyphen in your first paragraph :)...and an en dash in your last paragraph.

11/03/2010 2:16 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Ooh, you just illustrated another good one: emoticons!

11/03/2010 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Wow. Just slap me in the face why don't you! I'd better not say "LOL" or "Haha" or I'd probably get Volume 2 on "A Punctuation Problem". But, what the ;)

11/03/2010 10:34 PM  
Blogger Joey declared,

Slap you in the face? Say whatever you want, it's a free country!

11/03/2010 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous declared,

Sometimes I just write the way I hear it in my head. And sometimes I have lots of these !!!!!!!!!!!! going on in there ;)

But I'll admit, I do go for casual in text/im/fb.

A. Katie!!!!!!!!!!!

11/04/2010 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Kari!!!! :) declared,

I overuse ! and :) a lot!

11/04/2010 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Heather declared,

Yes- I'm SO guilty of this. Something I want to change but it's so automatic... work in progress.

ha in typing this I put the ! sign several times and made myself erase it.

11/12/2010 10:17 AM  
Blogger Joey declared,

I didn't really realize until I wrote this how often I use exclamation points. Anytime I write about something like that I tend to notice it a little more after that in myself. I have a big tendency to throw around the exclamation point!

11/12/2010 10:22 AM  

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