We're past the first 100 days of Obama, but the post-racial buzz is still in the air. Even Jay-Z says there's no such thing as "black music" anymore? Ok, but what about white punctuation marks?
1. I couldn't quite tell if the article is sourced from the wikipedia entry, or vice-versa (I'm guessing the latter), but I think someone needs to hat-tip the other. They pretty much follow the same narrative!
2. The first point is reinforced through their shared omissions as well. No mention of Greasemonkey scripts that scrub away excess excla-pointing!!! Or Slate's profile. Both of those items are over two years old. Also no mention of Choire, who legend has it is the Godfather of exclamation marks!
3. Which brings us to the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: "An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own jokes." Ha! It's so true! Also sort of falls under things stuff white people.
I once chimed in the comments with this:
[exclamation points] are an easy way to add energy or personality or whathaveyou to writing, especially if you're churning out posts like some sort of machine that churns out a lot of stuff. But you really don't see it much on black, hip hop, or other ethnic blogs. Knahmean? [ed: I think they/we might do more coding through slanguage. Feel me?]
In any event, since hanging around blogger/bledia types I do more drinking, smoking, and using of exclamation points! So I think it's a grammatical representation of some element of the assimilation process!
Quoting my comments in a new post! Very worth of exclamation points!
But amidst the terror of swine flu and, um, AIDS, have we considered the horror the punctuation-assimilation process can render on those who know nothing of Tom Wolfe? This indoctrination is not unique to my experience. I once remarked to Gawker's own Hamilton Nolan when we were at an underground hip hop show, not particularly concerned about running into any Gawker commenters, and he admitted to being a victim as well. His exclamation mark usage had increased exponentially since joining Gawker!
So I don't know what to think of these smart exclamation points; they're the hipster-Mac to the Period's PC; the itty-bitty stud on the nose of that white girl who likes The Roots; the ironic slash across the throat of earnestness. But how come the usage hasn't really crossed over to hip hop blogs and such?
And will they go extinct when the multiculti hip hop generation becomes the seated majority in 2050?
If you can let me know by next weekend, I won't bring it up again. Promise!
WTAN signing off. See you next Saturday!!!! Holla if you need me!