Saturday, September 14, 2013

That perfect punctuation mark

This post has been chosen as Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday pick! :-)

It was X's birthday some weeks back. No not the ex-ex! But someone to be named X for anonymity! I decided to wish through a message on Facebook, just not to make it too personal by calling yet wishing.

I typed and retyped the message but wasn't too happy with the result. Why? Because like always, this time too I got bummed by which punctuation mark to put at the end!

Here are a few of my typed attempts and why they didn't work:

Happy birthday, X! 
I realised an exclamation mark just makes it like I am too excited about this day. Which I wasn't. Off to next try.

Happy birthday, X.
Too formal. Not me at all. I cannot be so dull in wishing someone birthday. Next please!

Hey, happy birthday!
No. I decided I do not want to exchange any pleasentries either. Next!

Happy birthday :-)
Back in class 5 with a smiley? Is X's birthday party in McDonald's as well? With a return gift for me? Next!

Happy birthday...
Really? Leave it all hanging at 3 dots? And spend all the possible waking hours decoding the dots? Definitely next!

By now, I was really miffed with myself and logically deduced that may be I should let the day go and not wish at all. God only knows, I don't do this for everyone but come on! We all have some names on our friends list or phone contacts who need an impersonal birthday wish albeit with some personal tempering!

What to do? Even I become conscious while using an exclamation mark in such messages though I consider myself a queen of loud exclamation marks!!!

Well, if you want to know what I ultimately typed, it was a crass mish-mash of all of the above! But just about saved myself. Not telling!

I am everyday exploring new ways for such messages. What do you all do? Do write in comments!! There I go again...:-)


  1. Oh I loved this post! Every morning, I stare at the 3-4 names that Facebook warns me that I need to send birthday wishes to...and I keep wondering of different and unusual ways of wishing them! But yet, keeping each greeting within the realm of my social equation with those people.
    Damn you, Facebook for not allowing me to forget birthdays anymore!

  2. Well interesting thought.Heck,I never even thought about exclamations marks.Open the bday list,scribble whatever first thing comes on my minds n done with the job...

    But now i think i need to change my ways...:( big time

  3. haha.. I too feel the same way sometimes when using exclamation marks. The best thing is to let go of such birthdays.

  4. I can relate to the dilemmas you faced. Initially, I worked hard to wish birthdays creatively on FB wall, but now I am back to straight simple Happy Birthday! Enjoyed this post!

  5. Nicely put, Kajal! I am at my wit's end really! For close friends, it is always a phone call or email. For all others, most times my messages do end up being just a bland Happy birthday!

  6. Interesting thoughts here Naina.... I somehow love birthdays and always wish with a unique excitement ( at the cost of being tagged over excited)


  7. Oh my goodness! I so loved this, Naina. Spot on.
    Confession: It makes me cringe when FB reminds me about someone's birthday, and I've quite forgotten who they are! I just don't wish them.

  8. Hehehe. Show me ONE person who doesn't do this and I'll show you a.... never mind.

    Yes, I do it too. In fact, I do a lot of it thanks to writing for a living now.

    Lovely post, Naina!

  9. u put me in a spot with this q. Been there done that n at times I feel even the recepient will jus brush off these FB msgs so don really botther..

  10. :D My message for birthdays is a standard, have an awesome day and an equally awesome year ahead, that's all, all my Facebook friends get the same message year after year...

  11. This post has been selected for the Tangy Tuesday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

  12. I often end up using too many exclamatory marks :D
    ha ha ha Naina Madan , I thoroughly enjoyed this as it is my kinda post (y) congos on tangy pick

  13. OMG!!! I never thought that punctuation marks would create so much heartburn and indecisiveness . Now I should be more careful while wishing.Nice post Naina and congrats for the TTP.

  14. Spot on..
    A dilemma most of us face when wishing the not-so-close friends. :)

  15. Have you read this book "Eat, Shoots & Leaves ? A delightful commentary on the importance of punctuation.

  16. Hehe.. I misuse exclamation marks like anything !!! Btw, how did you finally wish? Need to know how to write an impersonal birthday wish albeit with some personal tempering :P