During this tense time leading up to the fall elections emotions will run high. We will learn that our personal values are in conflict with friends and family alike. We’ll read comments on Facebook and Twitter by our “friends” and twittermates that make our eyes twitch, will shock us, make us audibly gasp and stir us to pour a second glass of wine or scotch before we sit down and write a response that will change that mind, put that person in place, or at least give us the glib satisfaction of thinking, “I bet they wish they thought of that!” for a moment or two.
It is a dangerous time for friendships. Just this weekend I stuck near the shallow-end of the pool during one of Houston’s famous pool parties because I knew (from late night Facebook reading) that the pool was diverse in more ways than one (except Gender, because none of our Lesbian friends came). Yes, there WERE Gay conservatives in the pool! Luckily decorum was maintained and we avoided all controversial topics other than whether the hotter movie of the weekend was The Legend of Tarzan or Finding Dory.
So I feel the need to bring your attention and your caution to the care of the most abused, the most malingned, the most frustratingly overused of our friends during this political minefield. Who you ask? (I know you just did!).
Our capital letters and exclamation points!
YES THAT STAR WAS A STAR OF DAVID AND A DOG WHISTLE CALL TO ANTI-SEMITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YES, HILLARY SHOWED CRAP JUDGEMENT IN USING A PRIVATE SERVER AND BILL HASN’T SHOWN WORSE JUDGMENT ABOUT HOW TO SPEND 30 MINUTES SINCE THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
While both true, neither of those were more convincingly stated by typing in all capital letters or using multiple exclamation points.
So please. Share your political views carefully this season, because neither Hillary nor The Donald are a perfect catch and 2020 is too far way for bumper stickers. Think carefully about those you love who are seriously misguided in their understanding of foreign policy, who haven’t read about trade other than ad on Craigslist, and whose primary source of news is either Fox & Friends or the Huffington Post.
However MORE IMPORTANTLY, no one takes you more seriously or gives your thinking more social media cred if YOU TYPE IN ALL CAPS AND USE MORE THAN ONE (1) EXCLAMATION POINT!
These tools are grammatical dessert, savor them, and use them sparingly for times when it really matters.
The opinions expressed in my blog are personal and neither represent the views of my employer nor any organization.