In a study titled, “Gender and the Use of Exclamation Points in Computer Mediated Communication,” (for reals!) Carol Waseleski (EXCLAMATION POINT) deciphered that women use exclamation points 45% more often than men in e-communication. But it’s not because we’re more excited than men. Women use exclamation points online as indicators of a “friendly interaction.” We’ve been socialized to try to make people feel comfortable and to keep the peace. Hence sentences like, “Bill, I can’t wait to see the 4th quarter EMBO Report on the new 12-gauge ball bearings!”
She’s not excited to see that report. No one is excited to see that report. She’s letting Bill know that she’s not angry that it’s late yet. When she’s angry, she’ll use a period.
Absolute truth. We need a new punctuation mark — a friendly period — to indicate a friendly and nice conclusion to a sentence. Come on, punctuation people, do it [FRIENDLY PERIOD].