dr. hunt: “hey, don’t you ever answer your texts!”
det. morris: “not when you write in all capitals. It’s like yelling. It’s rude.”
dr. hunt: “its emphatic.”
while watching ‘body of proof’ last week i heard this exchange and reminded me of how many times i’ve encountered the improper use of capital letters and exclamation marks in work emails.
you know that email you get from your supervisor or senior staff that has a sentence or two that ends in a bunch of exclamation marks, or is in all capital letters.
the ultimate offenders are the people who use all caps, double/triple exclamation marks, and yellow highlights to get some point across. OMG!!! THAT’S SO RUDE!!!!!!
- use overuse/abuse exclamation marks, bold font, and capitalization in your emails to make a point
- use capital letters with yellow highlights and/or exclamation marks. It really is just wrong
- engage in email wars – this happens when feel you were being ‘yelled’ at via email and you feel the need to yell back…in email. this usually results in unpleasantness for those involved (also you’ll be leaving a written record of an exchange that may cast you bad light in the eyes of management).
- check a style guide (or google) for rules around when to use capitalization and exclamation marks if you are confused. yes, there are rules
- engage in appropriate use exclamation marks in the cube (read: use only 1 when needing to show emphasis. we will get it. trust me)
- think before you write. if you are upset then step away from the email for a few minutes before you hit the ‘send’ button
- if you really want to get your point across and make sure the person receiving the email got the message, then speak to the person directly, either in person, or by picking up the phone and calling them – speaking directly to a person as a way to communicate effectively, really? huh
- If you are the lucky recipient of the 6 exclamation marks and it bugs the crap out of you, then (a) ignore it and chalk it up to the sender’s ignorance of the the rules of grammar and email etiquette; or (b) speak to the sender directly. It really could simply be “emphatic” and not intended to be rude.