The Subconscious Art Of The (!): A Semi-Casual Guide

Do you need a sign-off but don’t want to use such platitudes as the “:)” or the “xoxo“? Why not try the “(!)”? Let’s call it “nudge,” because, really, it acts like such. The nudge might be the modern-day “;-).” It actually may even be better than the wink — while playful and enticing, it’s a bit too overt. The nudge gives a little more low-key gusto. With its cloudy yet zealous demeanor, it leaves things open ended, but in a good way.

Take the horribly simplistic sentence in Example A:

Let’s go to the movies.

If you receive a text from someone you want to sleep with that reads: Let’s go to the movies!, it comes off as too enthusiastic. Why are you so down to go to the movies, yo? But if I’m text someone (a girl in my case) Let’s go to the movies(!), I might as well be saying Let’s go to the movies and maybe we’ll see if I pull the popcorn trick and then we’ll see if you react positively (to which you may not, but at least it‘s out there).

The nudge can even work for Platonic Same-Sex Texting, or PSST.

See Example B:

Let’s get the game going(!).

The nudge in this instance could be: Let’s get the Knicks’ game on, or Let’s invite the hookers with the boxing gloves over and get that motel room bathtub filled with Maximum Strength Maalox, again.

It should also be known that the nudge differs greatly from the poke. The Facebook poke is imagined just as it seems: an outstretched index finger jabbing at another. No one pokes in real life. While the IRL factor of the wink is somewhat plausible, the poke is just off-putting and socially unfit. But the nudge, ah, that’s like a friendly hip-bump to your boo when you hear “Wait (The Whisper Song)” coming on. The nudge could even be a “check that guy painted as a statue” to your homeboy.

The examples are limitless. The nudge can be applied to more than enough circumstances. It is almost feasible to say that in short communication, it can be used in every sentence. Great(!) See you there(!). It’s authentic while showing just enough interest.

What the nudge adds is the “whatever” or “I guess” to the end of your phrase in order to shroud excitement. In this instance — Let’s go to the movies, I guess (!) — connotes that, yes the movies are not incredibly exciting, but at the same time, nothing else is either, so we might as well just sit in a dark room for a while. It is the blasé commitment that says “I’ve done more than you.”

Lightly put, the nudge is a heavy-duty weapon for your Personal Texting Arsenal, or PTA (in no way associated with the Parent-Teacher Association or “Pussy Tits A$$” web searches).

Warm regards(!) Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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