Language Inflation

I'm trying to keep it under control.

I try to avoid exclamation marks out of fear that once I start, it will be hard to stop. I'm sure you've seen people in the throws of exclamation mark abuse. They send you texts with four of them regarding coffee and three emoticons (even if you barely know them). I feel deadpan using periods with these people.

I too want to seem excited and nice. I want my text and email recipients to like me. (Please, like me!) But if I use these things when I'm just being friendly, what am I supposed to do when I'm excited? I don't want to get into double- and triple-mark territory, I just don't. It's the gateway drug to writing in all caps, using smiley faces with five mouths, and using expressive punctuation to the point it completely overwhelms the message.

I'm fitting this all under language inflation:

When I write emails at work, I feel compelled to end them with "Thanks,". Even if they haven't done squat for me and I'm not in the least bit grateful. So how am I supposed to differentiate between that and when I am thankful?

Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!

Really thanks.

I sing your praises and laud you above all other.

Maybe you find this boring. It is a language thing after all, and that isn't known for getting libidos working. But what about the age-old conundrum of knowing when/if to say "I love you?" The hesitancy to is, in part, because of language inflation. I don't want to say that unless I mean it. Because if I say things that don't mean much, I lose the power to express myself to others. And it will take wheelbarrows full of kind words to buy a loaf of bread.

1 comment:

  1. there is a hillarious Seinfeld episode where Elaine gets in a fight with the guy she is dating/working with over his lack of exclamation points. Observe:
    try reading your texts/emails aloud, like Elaine's boss.Normal tone thoughout but loud and excited at the end. "It was cold so he put on his COAT!"