Whole sentences written in capitals, followed by an arbitrary number of exclamation marks. Sometimes emails can look as if the author fell asleep with their head on the keyboard.

Chats, emails, and text messages have significantly changed the face of written communications. Where once neat, expressive handwriting in a personal letter impressed the reader, today we find ourselves confronted with emojis that stick their tongues out; shouty sentences written in capitals; mysterious abbreviations; and high-ranking individuals using language that was formerly reserved for cartoon characters. Sooo sad, very, very sad!!!!!!!

“The difficulty with communicating via emails is the total lack of non-verbal signals such as tone of voice or facial expressions. Some people respond to this by using the above-mentioned items in an attempt to make their message clearer,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). We should, however, be careful not to overuse such written signals.

Capital letters are the next step up from an exclamation mark, both of which should be used sparingly. An exclamation is an oral statement that we make when afraid, needing help, or angry. Someone who writes in capitals and finishes off with a few exclamation marks clearly needs a lot of help. IN ADDITION TO THIS, WHOLE SENTENCES WRITTEN IN CAPITALS ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO READ. See what we mean?

So, before you use the next exclamation mark, stop to consider whether you would also shout out loud what you have written to the recipient if you were talking face-to-face. No? Then don’t do it in an email either.