Do Exclamation Points Matter in Emails?

exclamation

My husband and I watched Corporate last night on Comedy Central. If you’ve never seen Corporate, work in a corporate environment and have a sense of humor, you have to tune in. It’s a parody on a company called Hampton Deville and they tackle all the annoying things you find in a corporate environment. For example, that person that steals just 1 color of candy, the brown nosers stepping on people to get ahead and the gross amount of time wasted surfing the internet.

Last night’s topic was about how the main character, Matt’s keyboard had a broken exclamation point. Any emails he sent only used periods. This lack of exclamation points had his superiors fuming almost firing him because of his lack of sensitivity.

“I use exclamation points all the time!” I announced to my husband.

“Do you really? I never do,” he said with about the same gusto one would use to tell the time.

Like the offended superiors, this completely shocked me.

‘Not use exclamation points? Is he trying to get fired?’ I thought.

“Well you probably come across as a real ass hole when they read your emails,” I declared.

“No, I think they’re stupid.”

“Well, they’re stupid when they’re overused,” I agreed. “It’s just that when you use exclamation points,” I searched for the right word, “it shows….enthusiam.”

Here’s what I think are the over, under and just right usage of exclamation points:

Overused

Hi! I received your purchase order! Your set for delivery on 3/1! Have a great day! -Angela

Your not a fuckin’ cheerleader nor are you 13. Quit inhaling helium and delete a few of them.

EeyoreUnderused

Hi. I received your purchase order. You’re set for delivery on 3/1. Have a great day. -Angela

How boring is that? I feel like Eeyore wrote that.

Perfect

Hi! I received your purchase order. Your set for delivery on 3/1. Have a great day! -Angela

In my mind, that’s perfect.

Caution

shocked oh my god GIF by Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtIn my mind, there is nothing more hateful and rude when an email contains the following combination: No exclamation points and Regards as the closing.

You might as well have said the following: Hi, I’m an ass hole; a real ass hole. I have little to no communication skills and I also don’t have friends.

I think I’ve used regards maybe twice in my life and that was me throwing down the gauntlet. Once with an ass hole co-worker and another time, going back and forth over a customer service issue at a hotel. If I use regards as my closing, that is essentially my formal declaration that I’ve had it with your shit, I’m pissed off and I’m coming after you.

What do you guys think about explanation points? Do you question someone’s tone if explanation points aren’t used? Do you use them? Let me hear your thoughts!

 

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