Indolence. One word that can more or less express our teenage society. We are especially notorious for our texting lingo. With that, comes our inevitable failure to so much as recognize the existence of punctuation. Unfortunately, when we do decide to acknowledge this important component of our society, we use it all wrong. My personal favorite is the exclamation point.
Shockingly, not everyone actually knows what an exclamation point is when it is referred to by name. On the phone keyboard, its that line with the dot under it. You know, that one that you use in every text? Yeah, that one.
Our misunderstanding of exclamation points extends beyond not knowing what they are. We don’t even know what they do. Exclamation points don’t go at the end of every sentence! They really don’t! Chances are, you either read that in an agitated tone, or dripping with an exuberant sarcasm familiar to satirical cheerleader stereotypes. Either way, it’s just weird. Don’t do it.
The exclamation point is used to express great emotion of some sort. Be it anger, excitement, incredulity or the works, it still doesn’t fit the vast majority of scenarios we utilize it for. Trust me, no one is that bubbly that he or she would possibly express that much emotion in every single sentence.
Obviously, we don’t know the first thing about exclamation points, so why do we use them? We seem privy to forgo the period and comma entirely, and I should hope we all know what those are.
Whenever we get a text with punctuation in it, we automatically presume the sender is angry or upset in some way. Could it be that the only reason we even use exclamation points is to avoid offending someone? Does that actually even work for us? It could just be me, but it sounds rather dultish.