Muse Magazine

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

LIFE: Random musing!!!

I have an odd addiction to exclamation points. I’ve always thought of them as the email-equivalent of the smile. But lately, my emails and instant messages have been a bit too smiley. Like, “Oh my god, hey! I haven’t heard from you in so long! How have you been? We should totally get together for lunch soon! Just let me know what works for you! Talk soon!” My girlfriends’ emails are equally as ebullient. But funnily enough, my male co-workers and guy friends, rarely use the happy form of punctuation in their emails. What does this mean? Does the excessive exclaim-ing represent a quiet desire to appear non-threatening, to please, or make nice? Or does it just mean that my lady friends and co-workers are friendlier than the boys? So I began an experiment sending emails and IM’s for one week using only periods. The results were intriguing. “Are you okay? You seem a bit stressed out” asked one female colleague in reply to a exclamation point-free email. With the exception of one business lunch, we’ve only ever professionally interacted in cyberspace. “What’s going on? You seem aggro today,”asked a male long-distance friend via AIM. “You don’t have to be so cold about it” typed another friend, this time a somewhat needy girlfriend, in response to a bit of relationship advice I sent her. What the hell? Talk about things getting lost in translation. I wonder what would happen if I started typing everything out in all caps.

-Muse
info@musemag.net

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