‘Have we hit peak punctuation?’ asks Megan Garber in The Atlantic. She highlights a growing trend towards excessive, almost epic, levels of punctuation.
Even as we exhort writers to use fewer, shorter words, people are using more and more punctuation and quasi-punctuation. For example:
Why use one exclamation mark when three or four shouts even more surprise? (‘Prime Rib Saturday!!!!’)
The humble ellipsis (‘…’) is now a dramatic pause worthy of the Royal Shakespeare Company. (‘OK……..’)
Multiple question marks have become the equivalent of an arched, ironic eyebrow (‘WTF????’)
Then there are smileys, emoticons and emojis.
I think all this has evolved from informal email or chat where there is a desperate need for emotional context. We’re adapting to new electronic media. In fact, Garber argues that new technology – in particular video chat and embedded images…
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