The other day my ears were acting cray-cray and suddenly everything seemed really really loud. (Damn cold!) Mr. VS was trying to have a normal conversation with me and I had to shush him like 5 times. He was screaming! And then I went to work and everyone there was yelling like a bunch of jerks in my office, having loud conversations in my general vicinity with their voices at outside levels. (Remember when teachers used to say…SHHH INSIDE VOICES! And you’d want to yell louder? Oh how I despise being told to shush. Probably due to hearing it so often because I’m always talking.)
I wanted to shush my loud coworkers but there were too many of them to effectively use this strategy and their screaming conversations lasted all day long. My ears were having none of this and were forcing pain upon my person. I didn’t even know if I could make it through the day. Luckily, my friend Acetaminophen, came to my rescue when all was almost lost and helped by dulling the insanity of pain in my sensitive ears.
Secondly in this insane nonsensical story, a friend of mine went home with a headache from work and she wrote me an email to tell me that she made it home safe. I wrote back: I’m glad you made it! Now rest up! After I sent the email, I imagined her writing back, STOP YELLING! Your exclamation points are hurting my ears!
And I would be able to commiserate with her because my ears had recently had their own bloody painful holiday. I know first hand that when you have a headache, you’re not typically into loud noises, so just seeing an exclamation point could potentially hurt you and cause a cringing incident. Headache enthusiasts beware! This blog is filled with PAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Weird how a simple squiggle on a page could cause pain!!!!!!!!
Now I’m examining the obvious with fascination, like a toddler with the cat’s water bowl, that a simple exclamation point in a sentence can make it seem…louder! It’s not only ALL CAPS that can seem like yelling or loud talk in writing, it’s also the fun and amazing exclamation point, which happens to be one of my favorite punctuation marks. Who doesn’t love it? It looks so exciting! It looks like it’s jumping up! Whoo hooooo!!! I actually happen to abuse this mark frequently. Probably because it’s my favorite. Creepy, no? I do have my favorites!
So yea, I’ll write the obvious, yet again: words on a page can truly have a lot of nuance and you can feel visceral feelings just by reading something, in fact your headache can burgeon out of control just by reading THIS blog! Pretty neat, right? I’m harming you physically from a distance! (Umm? Sorry?) In addition to being a loud punctuation mark, I also find that the exclamation point can also feel rather…hyperactive and at times, even downright annoying and obnoxious.
For example, you who are reading this blog post might find that the frequent use of the exclamation point is too much to bear and you may be forced to click away. I fully understand if this seems like madness I’m presenting to your poor sensitive eyes, ears and delicate foreheads. I hear you, I feel you, I will even understand, most especially if you have a headache.
So, while it’s an amazing sentence gee-gaw, the exclamation point can also be a burden that must be borne by us dainty English language lovers the world over. I’ve personally had to make my communications less hyperactive at times when emailing for work by removing this particular mark from my emailing vocab. Who wants to get this email:
Thanks! Great news! I’ll do that now! You’re the best! I’ll email you shortly!
It’s just too much, isn’t it? Especially in the morning. I can already feel my teeth grating in protest as I read that sentence. And if you’ll remember, Satan’s Girlfriend (me in disguise, cat’s out of the bag) has issues with people being too happy/chipper in the morning and the exclamation point is certainly a happy, chipper and potentially nerve rattling piece of sentence dandification. So, as much as I love it, it is indeed a double edged sentence follower.
All that said, there is something that’s inherently nicer about receiving an email with this as the closing: Thanks!
It’s far better than receiving an email like this: Thanks.
That just feels so chilly! Brr!! You begin to wonder, does this person hate me to the depths of their soul? Am I being chastised? Granted, there are times when it becomes necessary to end on a curt, putting the smack down, Thanks. instead of a friendly Thanks!
There are nuances here, people and that’s what’s so fun about this dysfunctional language we all share. Where else could you find a language that has so many words that mean the same thing? It’s pretty stunning.
I guess that’s all I have to say about this topic.
THANKS FOR READING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Too many and it loses all meaning, amiright?)
Let me try that again: Thanks for reading! You’re Amazing! You’re the BEST! Keep up the good WORK!!!! COME AGAIN!! Visit SOON!!! BE MY BEST FRIEND?!!! (See how I was sneaky and got a question mark in there? Pretty good, right??)
Are your ears bleeding yet? Is your head pounding in agony from all the noise? Opps! Sorry!! I mean… Opps. Sorry. (I’ll try to keep a civil tongue in my head in future, or civil pen in hand? Or civil finger to keyboard?)
Okay, try again: I’ll try to manage my use of punctuation, for your sake. Maybe. I’ll try. I can’t make any guarantees!!!!! Because more often than not, I get carried AWAY with the moment!!!!! And I just throw a whole handful of exclamation points at everything I write and see what sticks!! And boy are they sticky!!!!!!!!!)
Photo credit: Kaboompics.com