Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In Honor of the Exclamation Point!

Now that I'm in the "real world" and being forced to interact with "real adults" on a "daily basis" (sorry, got carried away), I'm becoming severely depressed. Why? Because adults are depressing to talk to. Why?

Because they don't use freaking exclamation points in their emails!

Despite what my (awesome) high school journalism teacher said about them, I believe that exclamation points are the solution to the inevitably dry and toneless nature of emails and text messages. So yes, if you send me a message that is void of exclamation points, I will assume that you hate me. Is this ridiculous and immature? Of course! But exclamation points have a way of making messages sound more postive and remind me that you're actually human. Why would you want the people you're interacting with to think they're talking to a robot?

This is an example of a (vague) email without any exclamation points.

Dear Shawn,

Topanga said she's coming with us Friday. She's bringing everything we need. See you Friday.

I obviously hate you,

See how cold that email sounds? I mean, hello, Cory is talking to his best friend here! He sounds like he despises him! He doesn't sound the least bit excited for this vague event (not a funeral) happening on Friday. Even if you're not communicating with your best friend, an exclamation point or two can lighten up the tone just the right amount. Yes, even with coworkers, classmates, fellow club members, etc. I mean, let's be real here. If the subject of your email is not a life or death situation, it's really not that serious; exclamation points simply give off the impression that you have a personality, and since when is that a bad thing?

Check out the email again with exclamation points:

Dear Shawn,

Topanga said she's coming with us Friday! She's bringing everything we need. See you Friday!

Your best friend,

See what a difference those two little exclamation points made? If I were Shawn, I would think, "How nice that Cory is so excited for this! That makes me excited, too, and I also know that he isn't a robot!" Honestly, unless the email only contains information (like driving directions - can you imagine? Turn right on Cahuenga! Then right on Sunset! It's on the left!*) or if you're attempting to achieve a deadpan sense of humor (i.e. "This is the greatest season of Glee of all time."), exclamation points aren't necessary. But those are rare exceptions.

So if you're over the age of 25 and sending an email to someone under the age of 25, remember that your audience is somebody who's been able to use a computer since he/she knew how to write, and may be keen on regular exclamation point usage. Oh, and emoticons, especially :), :D, -_-, etc. It doesn't mean that I'm a pathetic pansy (though I am); it just means that it's easy to sound underwhelmed and apathetic without them. And who wants that?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!**

Also, don't listen to what F. Scott Fitzgerald said about exclamation points. He was always drunk, anyway.
*Now you know how to get to Staples.
**Don't use that many.