Are we overusing the exclamation mark? This is the question that is making the rounds. In this age of social media, people left, right and centre, (Even the President of USA Donald Trump posted 2,251 tweets using exclamation marks in 2016) use the slanted line with a period below it to capture eye balls.
What is it about the exclamation mark that makes people use it at will and gay abandon? Kees van den Bos, Professor, Department of Social and Organizational Psychology Utrecht University, Netherlands, states “the sight of an exclamation mark does have an influential affect on people.” Observing an exclamation leads to reduced response time and exaggerated judgments. That’s one of the reasons five out of the six most commonly used words in spam include exclamation points.
The Chicago Manual of Style state that the exclamation mark ‘should be used sparingly to be effective.’ But people the world over are so bowled over by it that no one seems to care as they feel it is the best way to attract attention.
This burgeoning symbol classically used ‘to show strong emotion has become mark of the internet. Email, chat forums, social media and comment threads have all been a victim of multiple exclamation mark usage and abusage.
So, here comes the question. Is it fine to use exclamation mark on professional mediums like resumes, business mails, workplace forums and colleague mail-exchanges?
Job-search experts have a firm opinion on not to use exclamations in resumes or cover-letters. “It’s overly friendly approach towards recruiter, which is not good as you are interacting for the first time,” they say.
Putting forth F. Scott Fitzgerald, American Fiction Writer’s view, “using exclamation marks is like laughing at your own jokes.” After a while, the reader simply ignores such messages, or worse, becomes annoyed by them. Exclamation marks are considered to be relatively casual. Using them in business or formal academic writing is a no-no.
How does one manage to lessen the improper usage of exclamation marks? Instead of relying on exclamation points to convey the urgency or excitement, one can always use more vivid vocabulary. For instance, while one can write, “Ensure to wrap this by morning!” It could be better rephrased as “It’s essential to finish this before morning’s deadline.” Such statements convey a firm intent, yet in a professional manner.
After all, each own of us have only a few chances to make good impressions. So, it’s important not to overuse the exclamations.
Females use exclamation