Friday, September 16, 2011

I Don't Hate You! I Just Hate Your !

Catching up on old podcasts, and I receive another gift. Readers of this blog - or any policy/style manual I have written, any class taught, any office administered - know I have a very special place in my literary heart for the !

As in, never use it! Ever! Because adults don't use them!! And they should not use them serially!!! Or repeatedly! Really!


In the past, I've presented the communication research and the practical research - look, if Match tells you they turn people off, you MIGHT want to listen.

Today's addition comes from the Just the Facts podcast, which usually devotes itself to fact checking and debunking election campaign myths. In their episode on emails from Feb, 23, 2010, the host talks about the warning signs that you have received a false or misleading campaign email.

Guess what one of the tell-tale signs would be? That's right!

Using the example of an email circulating about Nancy Pelosi's use of aircraft, the host says, "this email has 22, 23, 24 exclamation points?"

"The more work the sender puts into emphasis, the more skeptical you should be."

Think about it. Too much enthusiasm can be a bad thing. We want our messages heard, and the excitement to be genuine. It is like the tired NBA (and certain colleges - you can guess who) that believe if you just turn up the volume, you can turn up the enthusiasm.

Most of the time, those extra ! end up with your message ignored or deleted, just like that extra volume sends people to the exits early with weary ears.

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