Do you remember that perfume advert?
A few weeks ago I happened to look at my last few online interactions and noticed I have almost completely abandoned the full stop in favour of the exclamation mark. If I want to create more emphasis, apparently I now hold my finger down on that button, to create a slightly psychopathic posse of exclamation marks (what is the collective term for exclamation marks anyway - a shriek?). If you have never met me before, you would be forgiven for thinking I am an over-excited toddler with its head permanently submerged in a bowl of Skittles.
Consequently, I have given up exclamation marks.
At first I slipped up almost constantly, generally when responding to people online. It's hard to sound likeable without exclamation marks. Everything you type sounds like Eeyore is saying it.
"Brilliant. Can't wait to see you on Saturday."
How very sarcastic. Yeah, I can't wait to see you on Saturday, and I also can't wait to poke my own eyes out with a rusted spoon.
So I have taken to using the methadone of exclamation marks - the smiley face. It's not pretty, it's not clever, but it will tide me over until I can work out a way to communicate with people without coming across as a total bitch.
The only real bonus I've discovered is that when you say something genuinely funny without an exclamation mark, it makes you sound all droll and witty rather than like a prat who is laughing at their own joke. Unfortunately this has only happened perhaps one time (or, on reflection, maybe half a time) since I gave up my favourite punctuation mark nearly a week ago.
When I finally reinstate my Ex-Cla-Maaaa-tion, I hope to use it sensibly and abuse it no longer.
Feel free to SHIFT+1 it up in the comments, my will is iron.