“We are, all of us, office babies,” writes Madeleine Aggeler, “and exclamation points are the written equivalent of child-proof bumper guards — a soft piece of punctuational padding that protects our emotional fontanelles from the sharp edges of conversations.”
As much as I hate to admit it, she may be on to something. No one in the office would deny that exchanging emails or instant messages with our very own Courtney Sowards (who, let’s be honest, never met a punctuation mark she didn’t like) is a far more pleasant experience than it would be with, say…me.
But Aggeler’s larger point – that it doesn’t cost anything to be amiable, so why not? – goes well beyond the addition of a handful of exclamation points, I think. And it’s something we should all be working toward.