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The Email Struggle! (Struggle? Struggle.)

Do you ever find yourself overthinking punctuation when you’re writing an email or text? I almost always find myself tossing in an early exclamation mark, as if having too many periods or question marks will come across as stern or gruff.

This recent BBC business article explains why some women might notice themselves using exclamation marks more, especially in the workplace. There is an added pressure to come across as friendly and enthusiastic, which male colleagues might not feel as intensely. It reminds me of the tendency of using upspeak, which I notice more in women than men.

I’ve been trying to cut back on my exclamation marks but often find myself re-reading emails and overthinking their tone- something that strikes me as a bit of a “millennial” problem. How much energy am I wasting worrying about whether my punctuation makes me sound friendly, versus being grammatically correct and conveying the message I am trying to send?

So! 2020 ushers in a brand new decade, and I am going to try to use fewer unnecessary exclamation marks! Marks. Who’s with me?

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