Exclamation Points are Good!


The article "Elements of E-Style" on pages 48 and 50 of the April 16 issue of The New Yorker reviews a new book Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home which offers a system of proper usage and protocol. The review states in part

"...The authors, astonishingly, come out in favor of exclamation points ('Thanks!!!!' is way friendlier than 'Thanks', ..."

I immediately thought of the rants which appeared in this forum on the subject of exclamation points.


I think the same applies to CAPS. My mother had an email machine and prefered caps as they were easier to see. She made lots of errors that I would give anything to still see. She died the day after I returned from Denver recovering from my own problem.
I try to overlook the petty complaints about how people present their messages and wish others would do likewise.



I'm sorry for your loss.

I feel like you do, people that didn't grow up with email should be given a lot of slack in the way they use it.

-Katie (who's been using email since the days of the ARPANET and still makes plenty of mistakes)


However, there should be nothing wrong with trying to educate people to write e-mails and posts that is received in the best possible way. How the post or e-mail is received is largely the responsibility of the writer.

Geir's e-mail rules


... and let's remember always: this is an international forum and customs vary a lot on this world. This includes the use of words and marks. As stated in transaction theory: it counts what the receiver understands.


I wonder where the anti-CAPS thing started. Early on, we didn't have 'puters that DID lower case. Some of us were proud to have a teletype terminal hooked up printing via baudot codes, and lc just wasn't there!

Meanwhile, here I am today in the CAD world. Lower case is so rare in engineering drawings that we spend half our life with caps-lock on. Then some wannabe dictator flames us for posting in caps. The term "Get a life" comes to mind.


The article that I quoted on the subject of exclamation points began with the following paragraph:

"E-mail isn't the most self-conscious medium; haste and volume encourage many correspondents to forget themselves. Still, everyone settles on a style. The lower-case non-punctuators, the serial capitalizers, the rhetorical questioners, the subpoena-anticipators, the posterity watchers: they all have their reasons, and their conceits."

The emphasis is mine.

All this talk about capitals and lower case reminds me of Archie and Mehitabel in the poetry of Don Marquis. Does anyone else remember "CAPITALS AT LAST!!!!"

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