Thoughts on Overstated Enthusiasm in Language

I have a problem. It seems to be a problem, anyway.

Too much enthusiasm. To the point that perhaps its value is diluted.

Does that sound like a problem to you? Allow me to explain further.

I am a naturally enthusiastic person. Particularly as it relates to interacting with others. In person, or in writing, even on the phone. When left to my own devices, and not distracted by a burden, I tend to emit enthusiasm with vigor. Is there any other way? 🙂

Now, I am not saying that in person enthusiasm is a problem. On the contrary, I find that to be a good thing.

What I have been mulling over is forcing that enthusiasm to carry over to my writing. Particularly texts and emails. I use more exclamation points than what might be appropriate. It is true!!! Couldn’t help myself just then.

I find myself texting things like “Thanks!” over the receipt of mundane information, as well as good news. It occurs to me that I use overblown words like “awesome” and “fantastic” regarding things that are quite ordinary. I think a lot of this is cultural; Western culture seems to have adopted a widespread ratcheting up of descriptive language beyond what is the appropriate use of some words.

Prime example: epic. It is overused to the point that its meaning is completely separate from its most common uses.  But I digress.

The thing that bothers me most about this habit I’ve developed is that I feel locked into it. Since I always write “Thanks!” or “Great!”, excluding the exclamation point seems too bland and even rude. Am I alone in this?

It is true that one’s personality often comes out in their writing. When I get notes that end with a seemingly flat “Thanks.”, I have to recognize that not everyone is a slave to blasting eagerness at every turn like I seem to be.  If I don’t take the time to acknowledge that, I am sometimes even taken aback by matter-of-fact, non-emotive written communication. Not everyone writes or thinks like you, Summer. Chill out. On the flip side, I have a deep appreciation for fellow enthusiasm enthusiasts.

So there is my quandary. Worrying about too much zeal from my own communication, then unfairly expecting it from others. Double standard much?

I don’t have an answer. I don’t know what the solution is. Not sure there is one. There might not even be a problem. Maybe it is all in my mind.

I would be most interested to hear what you, dear reader, have to say on the issue. Is there such a thing as too much enthusiasm? How do you handle matters like this one? What advice do you have for me?

As always, thanks so much for reading! <– To illustrate my point.

 

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About Summer Sorensen

My aim: to live out Jesus' greatest commands (Matthew 22:36-40) & have the most fun while doing it.
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