Journalists generally don’t like exclamation marks. We believe that words alone should have enough impact in most cases.
However, I find myself using exclamation marks on a regular basis now that I’m blogging. Groan!
That said, there’s definitely a place for exclamation marks in conversational writing. I find myself using them mostly to convey excitement, especially when I’m writing about food.
Jicama! Cherimoya! Chocolate!
But only one exclamation mark at a time. I have to show some restraint!
For a digital “immigrant” who learned to type on a typewriter before ever imagining using a computer, I think I’m doing reasonably well with technology and social media.
In addition to my blog, I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I’ve known for a long time that using all upper-case letters in emails or texts is a faux pas – the equivalent of shouting. I’m comfortable texting, and if my kids groan at any of my acronyms or emoticons, I don’t know about it.
But I had no idea that using a period at the end of a sentence could be considered aggressive. According to a recent article in the New Republic, ending a sentence with a period in a text message can have a negative connotation.
It’s funny, even before I read this article, there were times when I found myself not using punctuation at the end of a sentence – in text messages, not more formal writing. Sometimes, I pressed “send” before I meant to. Other times, for reasons I hadn’t yet figured out, it seemed right, as if I were just sharing a thought instead of making a declaration.
In a way, it goes against the grain to not use punctuation the way I’ve been using it for decades.
However, language evolves, and we do too.