I recently texted my husband: “How does fish for dinner sound?” His response: “Sure.” I was puzzled. He loves seafood. I make a mean BBQ salmon. Why did he sound so lukewarm?
As I responded, “Don’t you mean, ‘Sure!’?” I realized: He’s not indifferent — he just doesn’t feel compelled to stud every message with multiple exclamation points, like my girlfriends and I do.
Take, for example, this recent email from a friend*:
Yes!!! We must meet up when we are there! There’s a great restaurant that you have to try. Seriously — they have sangria on tap!!
Miss you!! Happy 2016!! Have an awesome New Year’s Eve!
That’s 11 exclamation points (EPs) in seven sentences. A work email from a female Ivy League-level psychotherapist featured five EPs and a smiley emoticon in six sentences. And after scanning my Sent box, I found myself just as guilty: In almost every message, I used an EP in my salutation as well as when signing off.