A Proposal for a New Punctuation Mark

For several years now, scholars have argued about the role of email, texting, etc. have played on our literacy and written communication. This si the first time I have seen someone propose that our digital communication has prompted the need for a new punctuation mark

The underlying problem is of course overuse of the traditional exclamation mark in the email/social network era, to the extent that the meaning of this venerable symbol has been severely undermined.

Artist and designer Ellen Susan has decided that the meaning of the exclamation point has become so watered down that we need something that communicates the emotion that a period does not without all the freaked out excitement implied by the exclamation point.

This is precisely why, as Ellen argues, we need a new punctuation mark that resides in the emotional range between the just-the-facts period and the whoop-to-do excitability of the exclamation point. While the new mark would clearly signal positivity, it would save us from communicating with the unhinged emotionality of a note slipped between junior-high students.

Behold, the ElRay.

Ooooooooooooooooh.

You can read all about it here.

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