Exclamation Marks!!!

WE ALL KNOW NOT TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE WE’RE SHOUTING.

But what about exclamation marks?

Exclamation marks have been on the rise since the dawn of email and texting. An exclamation mark can convey emotion in a way that other characters can’t.

You might add an exclamation mark to show that you’re joking or that you’re excited.

We’re human beings and it’s natural that we’d want to add emotion to the cold, cold world of email and texting. There’s just one problem.

Exclamation marks don’t look very professional when you’re emailing a client or supervisor. This might change when you know someone well, but play it safe in your professional emails.

Try not to use any exclamation marks at all in professional emails. If you really feel you must, limit yourself to just one per email. Any more will feel casual and might lead the reader to wonder just how old you are.

And yes, that means one exclamation mark at a time. Never double up. Never triple up. Leave that for your texts with friends.

Could this change in the future? Absolutely.

Ten years ago, I would have given you a blanket prohibition on exclamation marks in a professional email. Now, because we use email and texting even more, the rules are beginning to relax.

Let’s just see if I’m ready to endorse the !!! in another 10 years ...