A teal/green owl that says

Has the internet ruined the exclamation point?!?!?!

Well, I guess if we look at the previous sentence we have our answer. Never before in the history of writing would a simple question have been paired up with three exclamation points. However, in order to convey the tone in which I asked the question, three exclamation points were necessary – because it’s not a simple question. You know this because I used three exclamation points!

You see, the number of exclamation points can morph a seemingly innocent message into something that kicks off the next World War. Every single exclamation point has a meaning and it’s up to us mere humans to decode each of them, and their importance. Luckily for you, I’ve spent the past six nights lying awake and contemplating this very serious issue.

I went to Taco Bell!

Note the use of one exclamation point. It indicates the sender is excited and wants you to know that. They probably received the correct food items they ordered, or else you would have gotten a few more points. You don’t have to respond to messages with only one exclamation point – they are really just statements we want another human to read. If someone else doesn’t see it, it didn’t happen. You answering this message would  engage the sender in a conversation they didn’t want – you’ve broken the social code we live by!

The dog pooped in the house!!

Here we have the two exclamation point statement. No longer an innocent bystander, you must engage with this person. Your response will be critiqued, the sender evaluating every nuance of your message. You see, this person took extra time out of their day to hit the exclamation point twice and you must show that you value their effort. It would be appropriate send back a humorous, empathetic, or sarcastic response with one exclamation point of your own. Only one! Using any more than one point will look as if you’re showing up the original sender, leaving them with no choice but to denounce you to your friend group.

I dropped my pizza on the ground!!!

The three exclamation point statement. This person’s sky is falling and they are in crisis. It is up to you to quickly divert their attention so that they can remain a productive member of society. You must use more than one exclamation point in your response!! Two is the bare minimum while three shows that you really love them and understand them. You must also respond within 30 seconds or your exclamation points are useless. If that happens, send an emoji – preferably the poop one.

I want a puppy for Christmas!!!!

The dreaded four exclamation points. No other punctuation usage is more fraught with peril than the four exclamation point statement. You must respond – it’s the one piece of knowledge, other than breathe constantly, that humans are born with. However, picking the correct number of exclamation points to respond with is beyond most layman wordsmith’s abilities. Your best bet in this situation is to respond immediately with OH!!! You aren’t showing off with more exclamation points, but you aren’t undervaluing their statement. You are also in no way consenting or agreeing with any statements made. This is especially crucial since four exclamation point statements usually have consequences that last for years and/or cost a lot of money.


Anarchy. Chaos. Worlds burning to the ground. The five exclamation point statement requires diplomacy and tact. Someone is now in the moments where we either lose the human for good or we bring them back to humanity. You must get this response correct! Answer in very short sentences, no more than three words each. Follow each of these three-word sentences with five exclamation points. The person you are responding to is barely human in their current state – you must make them focus and read your words. If you get this response correct, you’ve got a friend for life. Get the response wrong, well…prepare to see your friend splashed across the news.

There you have it, your guide to using exclamation points properly! See?! They’re not ruined at all! They are so much better than before! With subtle nuances, their social benefits have not even begun to be calculated yet!! Look at how many exclamation points I used in this paragraph!! I’m so awesome!

Check out my Facebook page @ShankYouHeather and @ShankYouDesigns

I also tweet like a bird on Twitter @HeatherKeet

You can also find me on Instagram @ShankYouHeather and @ShankYouDesigns

Lola and I opened a store so we can sell our funniest blog sayings on cool stuff. Check it out at Shank You Very Much


60 replies on “The internet ruins everything we love…

  1. I’ll never use an exclamation point the same way again lol.
    I feel like the internet has caused me to NOT use punctuation as much. Off to frantically find a happy medium. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hadn’t given this topic much consideration, but it is well worth looking at now that you’ve pointed this out. I have noticed major text changes but never paid much attention to the other details. Now I won’t be able to avoid noticing it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve always been what I thought was a lover of the exclamation mark! Apparently I was abusing it and not at all following THE RULES!! *Hangs head in shame and vows to obey all the aforementioned commandments henceforth.* Heather you’re a genius!!!!!! – Yep. I did 6. *Drops mike*. 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What is it with the exclamation mark! ? Social media has heightened its importance and now it’s more prevalent than the speech mark. How can that be?! Whatever next? The over use of the semi colon?! Oh hang on….we already use that as a smiley…;)
    I love the way you see a post in the smallest thing, Heather. Brilliant post. #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Heather. I can’t tell you how much I love this post! Outside the realm of blogland and texting I will use exclamation marks properly. But out in the digital world? Someone hold me back. What a great way of defining them. Although, you are very reserved with the dog poop ones. Mine would be more like this. The dog pooped!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 Brilliant! #Dreamteam xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah I’m laughing away here at the computer right now! You have made a compelling argument here and I love the examples – with ever increasing exclamation points 😉 #BloggerClubUK xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I dunno Heather, I’m from Hungary, we use it where you (well, not YOU, but you know, you) would normally put LOL – at the end of almost every the sentence! I’m still learning how to tone it down. It’s a cultural thing. #humpdaylinky

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love this! I am such a crazy user of exclamation points. I have a friend who uses them after every single sentence in every text, I think she worries that she doesn’t come across as enthusiastic otherwise. Dropping your pizza is a very serious business though! Thanks so much for joining us at #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha! Brilliant observations and so true. I didn’t even realise that I do this but I totally do (thanks to the person who read my first self-published book and pointed it out to me and now all I see when I read it is !!!!) x #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh this post had me laughing so much!!! And now I don’t even know how many exclamation marks to use! Hahaha. I am definitely an over-user of the precious exclamation mark but, aren’t most bloggers at the end of the day?! Comedy gold!

    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t know how they are being used anymore. Sometimes I use them in my posts and sometimes I don’t but it is meant to convey a certain emotion or level of said emotion. Leave it to the internet to take it to another level lol. #MondayStumble

    Liked by 1 person

  12. haha I love this because it is so true, I never know how many to use or if I should add one with a question mark. Sometimes we just need too use more than one, we just have to!! #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  13. just getting you know you are my featured #mg writer this week with this post! Congrats, stop by Monday to grab your badge and thank you again for linking up xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Haha! Yes. I read On Writing by Stephen King and he is NOT a fan of the exclamation point. He feels it is too overused … how does he cope when he reads stuff on the internet? 😉 #anythinggoes

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I had a student tell me when using instagram I need to have 3 !!!. No more or no less. I asked him if I was just announcing today is Friday? His respond give them 3!!! WHAT? #anythinggoes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I’ve been doing Instagram wrong! Students are usually tapped into the etiquette underworld of the Internet!! They always know the proper techniques for Instagram interactions!!!


  16. My favourite author, the late Great Sir Terry Pratchett, claimed that a person’s sanity is inversely proportional to number of exclamation marks they use. Basically, what you said but shorter!

    Liked by 1 person

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