I do a fair amount of commenting on other people's Flickr and Blip postings and some on Facebook. A lot is of the 'Great shot', 'Thanks' and 'LOL' variety.
Many times I really love a photo someone has posted but lack the verbal ability to express what I'm thinking and feeling. Or maybe I don't even know why I like it, I just do.
So, I'll say something like 'Great shot'.
Sometimes someone will express their appreciation for a shot I've posted.
I'll say something like 'Thanks'.
Notice something odd? It looks strange and flat. It looks like I didn't mean it as much as if I had said
'Thanks!' or 'Great shot!'
I think we've gotten so accustomed to using an exclamation point at the end of every utterance that we don't even think about it. Consider this sticker thoughtfully affixed to the front of a microwave oven:
Seriously, why all the yelling? Imminent thermonuclear holocaust? A loaded gun to my head? The heartbreak of psoriasis? The agony of defeat? What?
So I'm on a one-man crusade to turn it down a notch and same the ! for times I really want to be more emphatic than normal. Think of it as restoring value to punctuation.
If I say 'Thanks' I mean it. No need to yell. If I say I like your comment or photo, I mean it. I do not comment on yours because you commented on mine. Homey don't play dat. :)
Now, if you were to give me Eleventy Bazzilion Tax-Free US Dollars I'd be much more likely to pull out the '!' and say say 'Thanks!'. For that much, I might even drag out UPPER CASE and bold italics.