A recent technology column in the The Atlantic tries to answer a key question that many of us in the age of the internet have been wondering about. How many exclamation points does it take to exclaim something?

Once upon a time anyone “with a decent grasp of punctuation… might say that one should suffice. But, on the internet, it often doesn’t. Not anymore. Digital communication is undergoing exclamation-point inflation. When single exclamation points adorn every sentence in a business email, it takes two to convey true enthusiasm. Or three. Or four. Or more.”

Of course, you’ll need to click on the above link in order to discover if this is a “natural linguistic phenomenon” or some insidious development that augurs the decline of western civilization!!!!

(Thanks, as always, to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies)