In my daily email correspondences, I can’t help but notice that unnecessary punctuation has run amuck. I can forgive the should-have-learned-this-in-2nd-grade usage of commas (“I wish I could help but, I’m an imbecile.”), but there are a few types of punctuation with which people simply just need to get their shit together.
The other day, I had sent an email to someone’s assistant asking if said-someone was available for a meeting. The assistant’s one-line response was, “She is available!” My insecure, over-thinking self immediately grew terrified as to why she felt the need to use an exclamation point. Is she that genuinely excited about my desire to speak with her boss that the increased flow of endorphins forced her to shout? Or is she so furious at me for taking thirty seconds of her day that she screamed the answer in my face to let me know that I have crossed the goddamn line? I was so confused and worried that I couldn’t even respond, and thus, the meeting was never set. But it made me realize something: I do the exact same thing!
For instance, when signing off an email, I feel obligated to end with a loud, obnoxious “Thanks!” Why? Because if I simply used a period at the end, then I might as well have just sent a Snapchat of my balls. If the exclamation point isn’t there, it comes across as if I don’t care about the message I typed and I couldn’t possibly care less about the person in which I’m sending it to–at least, this is what my messed up brain tells itself. So maybe, just maybe, this assistant is in the same boat as me, where she feels that if she’d only used a period at the end, she would have come across like a my-feet-don’t-stink bitch. So there lies the issue with of the exclamation point in email: use it or not, you’re always going to come off like an ass.
That’s all for this edition. Tune in next time for the dreaded “dot dot dot.”
I fully understand the inherent risk of analyzing spelling and grammar in a blog post in which several spelling and grammar mistakes could be made. If you find any such mistakes, please make note of them in the comments section, and I will gladly Snapchat you a picture of my balls.