Digital-Age Punctuation

Exclamation Etiquette: Technology has made communicating with others fast, easy and constant. But at what price to the English language? The proliferation of texting and email and IM’ing and FB chatting in the Digital Age has caused people to adopt a new set of spelling, grammar and punctuation rules — for better or for worse. Take the exclamation point. We were all taught in school to use the exclamation point sparingly; most writers and literary elite scoff at the exclamation point as lazy, shorthand for the effect that the writing itself should have created. But some of these same people, as the New York Times piece points out, will happily and generously sprinkle texts and emails with exclamation points! I am certainly guilty of using them on electronic forms of casual communication to ensure that I’m not coming off as serious when I’m saying something in jest, to make sure that I don’t sound short or gruff. So much is lost in digital translation without the visual cues of body language or the tone of someone’s voice to properly emphasize and punctuate what is being said. Hence the overreliance on exclamation points: “OK. Sure,” sounds so somber, like such an unenthused reply, as opposed to “OK, sure!” NYT

Facebook in the Middle East: Here’s another social media and the Middle East story: Israel prevented many Palestinian activists form boarding flights from Europe to Tel Aviv. The Israeli government had been monitoring these activists’ activity on social media sites and put them on a blacklist, which they gave to airlines to keep those whom they saw as potentially violent protestors out of the country. AP

Website of the Day: Want to know who else is behind Facebook besides the Zuck and how much they are worth? Check out Who Owns Facebook for names, stake percentages and dollar values. Gawker

Tumblr of the Day: We’ve all been there… Damn You, Auto Correct.

Video of the Day: Something tells me, by the time her braces come off, she is going to regret posting this.

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