The Exclamationer’s Song
by Will Bailey
Everybody calm down. It seems there has been rampant overuse of the exclamation point lately, which may or may not be a direct result of Applebee’s aggressively enthusiastic advertising campaigns. “Applebee’s has sliders! They’re really great! Three for the price of three! Look at those people! They’re laughing! That guy is handsome! Come to Applebee’s! Kids are allowed!” On second thought, this may actually be a correlation, not a causality, meaning that the same people who are easily excited by tiny hamburgers tend to use a lot of exclamation points when they write. Think about it: would the guy who always sends you e-mails riddled with unnecessary exclamation points flip out if you gave him a bunch of sliders? Exactly: he would be so excited that an exclamation point would appear above his head like an inspiration light bulb. Actually, that’s not a half-bad idea. We should require exclamation point abusers to wear a Scarlet Exclamation Point made of pipe cleaners and tissue paper on their heads. Hopefully this will teach them to use their exclamation points more sparingly. Of course, it could backfire and have the reverse effect. They might become so overexposed to exclamation points that the could start using them on grocery lists, or, worse, personal checks. “Pay to the order of Applebee’s! Forty five and 57/100! Memo: I love sliders!” For now, let’s just all agree to stop using exclamation points so carelessly. Besides, if you ever get in a situation where you are writing a letter from a sinking boat in alligator infested waters, you’ll be glad you saved them.