I got to thinking how, in my written correspondence with friends and acquaintances, I probably use too many exclamation points. Not that I’m one of those people who puts parades of exclamation points after a sentence- in that sense, I try very hard to adhere to a strict maximum-one-exclamation-point-per-sentence policy.
But if, say, a friend sends me a really cool link, I don’t want to just say “Thanks for the link.” I want to show a little more warmth and excitement than a mere period will allow. And until now, the most logical option seemed to be “Thanks for the link!” Yet it always bothered me that in situations like these, “Thanks for the link!” might just be a little too much warmth and excitement, and might appear phony. If the period is a firm handshake, the exclamation point is a high five, and most reasonable people don’t like it when dudes throw around high-fives all the time.
Smiley face emoticons were totally out of the question.
What I was looking for was more like a fist-bump of punctuation.
So I looked at my laptop keyboard to see what might make a good fist-bump, and decided on the tilde or swung dash. As in, “Thanks for the link~”.
I think it’s the best solution, because it’s kind of a chill, casual-looking punctuation mark, but it also has a moderate energy to it. And while it’s used a lot in math and statistics and hanging over Spanish Ns, it’s not really used independently in everyday communication.
After I decided on my fist-bump swung dash, I thought I was hot stuff, clever and innovative. Then I thought I should research this to make sure no one had thought of it before.
Of course, numerous other people have thought of it before. Feministe wrote a whole thing on the need for a “friendly period” like 6 months ago, and several commenters mentioned the tilde as a solution.
But hell, even if my idea wasn’t 100% original, I’m still going to run with it.
Thanks for reading~