An article I recently read described the way we communicate through our use of punctuation. I started examining how I use punctuation in my texts and emails and concluded that it is vastly different than how I write.
Punctuation marks began in such a purposeful way. Probably their most important benefit was to cue the reader (or speaker) to slow down via the comma, colon, and period. The words alone had the job of conveying tone and attitude.
Things have changed so much with texting. We use symbols: dashes, ellipses, the question/exclamation mark, parentheses, and emoticons to convey meaning.
A simple ?! might invoke a questioning-and-excited-to-hear-more tone.
Such as how was your date?!
… implies I don’t want to be overbearing but I need more information please.
As in just checking in about your interview …
Ever the teacher noticing a typo after clicking send, I will put * in charge as editor.
I’m sure you’ve got your own endearing ways of adding emotion to your texts and emails and I’d love to hear them (perhaps I may flavor my eCommunications in new and creative ways).
But it’s Susan from Bucks County, PA who really gave me pause to consider punctuation. She “subscribes to the notion that at birth, we are given only five exclamation points to use in our lifetime.”
What would be your five???!!! :)