When comparing written correspondence in Finland and the USA, there is something that always strikes me – the use of the exclamation point (!). I am used to seeing it reserved for informal writing where the writer wants to add a ‘punch’. It is almost like a shout – hey, look here!
In Finland, I have often seen it used in formal communication with strangers. It seems to be a way to lighten up a stuffy situation.
It is an interesting contradiction. If countries were punctuation marks, I would assign the exclamation point (!) to the USA -the land where the extremes of good and bad can be found. I would assign the comma (,) to Finland – the land where it is common to pause, think, and then act.
Which country would you assign the period (.), slash (/) or question mark (?)