Are exclamation points killing us with kindness?

But exclamation marks don’t necessarily indicate the end of the linguistic world as we know it, some experts say. Language is always changing, and exclamation marks are just one example of how we alter the way we speak and write to foster social connections and adapt to changing modes of communication.

“Language changes,” said Naomi Baron, a linguist at American University In Washington, D.C., and author of “Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World.” “If everyone else is doing it, no matter what you believe you should do, you end up doing it, too. In e-mails, I find myself using far more single exclamation points than I would three or four years ago, because everyone else does it to me.”

Back in the olden days, in the early 2000s, when texting was only called SMS and ubiquitous iPhones were still years away, mobile phone messages were nearly devoid of exclamation marks because typing in any kind of punctuation was a huge pain, Baron said.