I have a problem. A problem that I’ve voiced on more than one occasion. I use far too many exclamation marks. I came across an article from The Telegraph this morning about internet rules and laws, and was surprised to find that the 10th of 10 rules was “The Law of Exclamation”:
10. The Law of Exclamation
First recorded in an article by Lori Robertson at FactCheck.org in 2008, this states: “The more exclamation points used in an email (or other posting), the more likely it is a complete lie. This is also true for excessive capital letters.”
It is reminiscent of the claim in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels that the more exclamation marks someone uses in writing, the more likely they are to be mentally unbalanced.
According to Pratchett, five exclamation marks is an indicator of “someone who wears their underwear on the outside”.
If it was up to Pratchett, I’d probably wear five pairs of underwear on the outside. Because of my excitable nature, I find myself going through emails, whether they be business or personal, and removing exclamation marks from where they are least needed. However, I still feel that they are needed!
Why? Well, because if I’m excited about something, I want to let people know! My general feeling is that if I’m typing something and it has a period at the end, that it’s rather unimpressive. And most everything is rather impressive and exciting to me! So, what is my solution to this major problem?
A new, alternative punctuation to proclaim an excitement level somewhere between the period and the exclamation mark.
Hence, the degree symbol° I would assume that there has been very little evolution in English punctuation in the last few hundred years, and I would suggest that it is time for a change.
So friends, use your degrees to indicate a degree of exuberance and watch your life mysteriously transform to a higher level of happiness through excitement°