If you’re trying to get yourself uninvited from your Aunt Edith’s unbearable holiday fondue party, I suggest you try this trick: Send her a Christmas card that includes not one exclamation point.
Season’s greetings. All the best to you and the kids. Have a wonderful 2016.
I promise she will cut you from the guest list in a flash. After years of exclamation point creep, failing to use one in social and even business correspondence marks you as a frigid and aloof misanthrope without a drop of good fellowship.
“An exclamation point is like laughing at your own jokes,” F. Scott Fitzgerald supposedly wrote in one withering and oft-cited maxim.
But in recent years, exclamation points have become an almost compulsory part of written communication. . . .
The marks have become so ubiquitous that leaving one out feels like a statement, even when none is intended. A just-published study of text messages, for example, found that texts ending with a simple period are more likely to be viewed as insincere.
Or, as a satirical story in The Onion put it: “In a diabolical omission of the utmost cruelty, stone-hearted ice witch Leslie Schiller sent her friend a callous thank-you email devoid of even a single exclamation point, sources confirmed Monday.”
Reading this, I was questioning whether anyone alive today actually has an Aunt Edith.
Looks like there are still a few of them around.
And see: More fun with exclamation points