By Apurba Roy
Exclamation marks: believe it or not, you don’t need to use them at the end of every sentence to sound like you’re in a perpetual state of preppy excitement.
Take this quiz to find out if you really need that exclamation mark.
Who are you messaging?
(a) A professor, so I need to sound perky writing about a class I only took because Reddit said it was a bird course.
(b) A friend who I don’t know well enough to use my quirky range of emojis and all caps texts.
(c) A potential life partner who needs to think that I’m excited about eating Swiss Chalet with them over FaceTime.
How intimidating is the recipient?
(a) I cannot look this person in the eye without shaking.
(b) They still send weekly tweets to HBO about how bad the Game of Thrones finale was, even though it aired almost two years ago.
(c) They post a daily Instagram Reels vlog where they review nursery rhymes.
How intimidating are you?
(a) I hard block anyone who doesn’t view my Instagram story.
(b) I think I’m really tough but I regularly strain my eyes watching cat videos at 2 a.m.
(c) Everyone knows that I cried watching Little Women.
How serious is this message?
(a) It’s a genuine request, written politely so that the recipient doesn’t think I’m an uncourteous Gen Z.
(b) Irrelevant enough to be flagged as spam mail.
(c) Not important, but if I don’t get a reply I will call myself a failure in front of the mirror and eat several pints of ice cream.
On your keyboard, what does the exclamation point symbol look like?
(a) The mark is more pigmented than a Fenty highlighter.
(b) It’s so worn out that I can barely see it. The only reason I know where it is is because of muscle memory.
(c) I pressed it so much that the key came off. Now, I Google “exclamation mark” and copy and paste it into my emails whenever I need it. As a result the command, C and V keys are on their last legs.
Mostly (a)s: You need that exclamation mark! Your recipient will appreciate your non-threatening tone.
Mostly (b)s: You don’t need it. You’re close to sounding like a kindergartner who recently learned basic punctuation.
Mostly (c)s: STOP USING THAT EXCLAMATION MARK! Trust me, you don’t have to soften your tone; the recipient knows you’re a complete softie who isn’t actually that excited. Aren’t you tired?