I went rambling around our downtown this evening to look at art. On the first Friday of each month the downtown businesses and galleries have openings complete with the artist. It’s fun to check out the people, the art, and geek out on process with the makers!
But that’s not what this post is about!!
It’s really about the exclamation point!!!
After spending some time meeting an artist, tripping out on his art and generally having fun, I noticed he had a lovely old typewriter set up for feedback. People would peck out their responses to his art on something like this:
I really liked his work and wanted to write some encouragement, but I kept getting stuck: I couldn’t find the exclamation point.
I could ask questions? I could make statements. I could say something and trail off…..
But I couldn’t enthuse! Or shout!!
And it struck me how much I type that freaky punctuation. Somehow, to me, a simple sentence had become rather deadpan in delivery, and if I wanted any cheer I would need to pump up the phrase with this!
Perhaps you’re one of the many people in the world who rightly reserve the exclamation point for emergencies. Look out! Danger! In that case I’m sorry I’ve been alarming you when merely over-emoting. Like reading all caps, I’ve BEEN SHOUTING AT YOU inadvertently.
Really though, it is a challenge to write tone. How do I indicate light-heartedness? Encouragement? Reasonable enthusiasm? Perhaps I should try to just knock it off. Ease up on the excessive punctuation.
What?!? No way!!