Curbing My Enthusiasm

It wasn’t long ago that I reviewed a few of my Facebook and other social media postings, and counted how many exclamation points I used. It was embarrassing as the figures were in double digits. For even the most bubbly, enthusiastic person, that is way too many exclamation points. (You say marks, I call them points!) So then I posed this status update: Ok, I am seriously examining my life right now trying to figure out why the heck I use so many exclamation points#exuberantfordays

I recently read a Rabbi/Cantor’s sermon on enthusiasm, which is something that I have oozing out of my veins. I quote him: The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word “entheos.” “Theos” is God. When you’re enthusiastic, it simply means you are full of God. When you get up in the morning excited about your future, recognizing that day is a gift and go out with a spring in your step, pursuing your goals and passionate about life, then God will breathe in your direction. Studies even tell us that people who are enthusiastic get better breaks. They’re promoted more often. That’s not a coincidence. When you’re full of passion, you have the blessings of God. (Thank you Scott Borsky and Hook Em!)

I describe myself as vivacious and exuberant, with a touch of being ebullient, meaning I am every synonym you could conjure up for being enthusiastic, and a little excitable. (Meaning it doesn’t take much for me to get hyper excited about the smallest pleasure in life.)

Those posters that start with, “I can’t stay calm, I am…..” are made for me. I could fill those dot, dot, dots in with just about anything and everything.

A friend once demanded of me to curb my enthusiasm. (Borrowed of course from that rascal Larry David, and I did love that show of his.) This was fairly recently, but it wasn’t the first time.  This same friend has scolded me for getting excited over things since wayyyyyyy back in the days when I was a teenager, as we have known each other over 45 years.

Yet I can’t help who I am, and that trait of being overly enthusiastic, and thereby using way too many exclamation points to show my excitement. It makes me who I am. And I would rather take delight over teeny things to big things, rather than be the opposite of that.

The response, by the way, to my examining my life due to my overuse of exclamation points led to a record number of comments of people just like me who also use way too many of that particular enthusiastic punctuation.

My favorite comment was by brilliant writer and person Karen Krakower Kaplan (I am even enthusiastic about talented people!) who said: We simply need another punctuation option! Something between bouncy, perky, Pekingese joy and warm, contained, contented joy. Open for suggestions!

One of my old, old friends (also a writer) (Hmm, do you see a pattern here?) commented that he can give me lessons on how to use less exclamation points.

So folks, there are lots of us who possibly need to try to curb our enthusiasm. I have tried in vain on many occasions, although lately, I am more discriminating in my use of the exclamation point. There is no need to use 20 in a single post, or three in a row, which I am prone to do.

If you are like me, hear me, it’s a good trait to have. It keeps life from being dull. So Larry David, go curb your own enthusiasm and leave us exuberant types alone. Oh wait, let me repeat that – Leave us exuberant types alone!! (See I am down to two in a row!)


  • Funny funny blog! I had to laugh because years ago Seinfeld approached the issue with a very funny episode about Elaine breaking up with someone because he left her a note with an exclamation point at the end of one of the sentences. Elaine was a writer / editor afterall and it got under her skin. I myself try to contain my explanation points to one a post and I usually have fun deciding which sentence gets it and which doesn’t. In certain setups an exclamation point can sound like you’re angry and a few times I’ve had to qualify a work email or text where I used an exclamation point instead of a question mark. Yeah, good times!

  • I agree with your self assessment, Arlene! You are a person who really shows your enthusiasm about the things you blog, post, link. Also, when you want to comment on my postings, you will show that enthusiasm, not only through your exclamation points, but through the content of your comment!
    I am happy that there are now emojis one can use: at least on the phone. That helps when there is nothing more emotional than one exclamation point. I like to use hearts, different happy face expressions, thumbs up, hands clapping, etc., to show additional emotion. The downside of using the emojis is that it does take more time to find just the right ones to express one’s feelings!!

    • I like your idea of using emojis instead of so many exclamation points, although I find it hard to search for one I want, and that is only on my phone. Most of my posting is from a regular computer. I don’t have emojis connected to that.

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