The Set of Punction Marks in the English Language Should be Expanded
The problem is that I do not often feel ‘excited’. Paul says I’m brood-ish. So if I use an exclamation mark it is disingenuous. However, our culture has the expectation of including an emotional tone in our emails and texting, and a lack of exclamation may be associated with ungratefulness or dissatisfaction among other incorrect communication. Of course I am not the only one struggling with our current set of punctuation marks, there was even had a whole episode of Corporate about it.
From the reader's point of view it also becomes hard to interpret a person’s level of excitement from their writing. Are they genuinely excited or are they attempting to be polite?
The source problem is that English, like many languages, does not have punctuation that well-encapsulates the range of tone. Therefore it should be expanded. Punctuation marks that express something like ‘I’m pleased’, or ‘Sincerely’ or ‘I’m happy in a well-adjusted way.’ would put an end to this fucking ridiculousness!
My current workaround to this issue is something I stole from the Chinese language. In Chinese one may repeat and adjective to soften the meaning, so 高高的(gaogaode) may be ‘quite tall’. I like that. Repetition has the element of intention, an extra thought to confirm you are sure about what you are saying. Got it? Cool cool.
My cousin Andrew pointed out that emojis have this function, and so if the business world would be more accepting of emojis in emails it could resolve the issue I described. 👍 ✊ 🙌 .