Let me tell you how I feel about exclamation points.
I love them most of the time – they really do the job of expressing, well, excitement.
Didn’t the second version make you even more filled with anticipation that you thought you could be after reading the first one?
Here’s my issue…when I see an email come through, and there’s one of those little guys lit up like a floodlight attached to it…my love for exclamation points dies just a little. I know what’s coming – as soon as I click on that email and open it up…it’s going to be there as clear as day….
And because I am now just one small step away from being a Pavlovian experiment…all I ever want to do when I see that word is hit ‘reply’ and type, “Is it really…??”
You know what’s Urgent? Fires. Car Accidents. Women in labor. Maybe instead of berating the mis-used Exclamation Point, we would just eliminate the use of the word “Urgent” by anyone who does not carry a gun, hose or stethoscope for a living.
It’s partly my fault, I suppose. I know kids today (sorry any kids today who are reading this) are coming out of college with a work ethic that might not be as stellar as the one folks my age paid for.
So, when I see the word “Urgent,” I get a little panicky and excited and send a surge of adrenaline through my veins in preparation for addressing this very Urgent matter.
Maybe kids today (again, sorry) don’t have that reaction. Which means the obvious has to be pointed out – and yet, it’s pointed out in a completely over the top way.
I mean, half the stuff I see in my inbox that’s marked Urgent barely rates a second read…sometimes it doesn’t even merit a full read before I’ve already resolved the Urgent Issue. On the flip side, I am a hero to some of these people with Urgent Issues. I can only imagine what their homelives are like without me there to help out.
“URGENT….the batteries are dead on the remote….URGENT, what am I going to do? This is URGENT…do you hear me anyone? I can’t change the channel. URGENT.”
And let me tell you something else. These people who sent me URGENT matters one day to which I promptly repond with relevant questions to solve their URGENT matters…only to be ignored for the next week?
Well…let me tell you where their URGENCIES sit in my list of priorities.
And when they do finally respond to my questions a week later and the first sentence is,
“Is this taken care of?” that Pavlovian Tic starts again…
must hit “Reply”….