Emails and texts can be easily misinterpreted for a variety of reasons, but standard punctuation marks are often the culprit that causes confusion. Standard punctuation can get the point across, but it lacks the feeling and emotion of a face to face conversation.

Did you ever have a great bond with someone and receive a text or email that made you think they were mad at you? Chances are the communication lacked the proper verbiage or was written quickly without a lot of thought.

Here is an excellent example:

Friend: I’ll meet you at the soccer game tonight at 7 pm. Don’t be late!!!

When you read this text it seems straightforward, right? Meet your friend at the soccer game at 7 pm tonight and don’t be late. However, those three exclamation points after “don’t be late” seem a bit harsh and demanding. It can make you wonder if they think you are irresponsible, or they are implying you are always late to the game. Thinking about this can get negative emotions stirring really fast.

Now what if your friend texted it to you this way:

Friend: I’ll meet you at the soccer game tonight at 7 pm. Don’t be late. LOL

The LOL (laugh out loud) at the end of don’t be late automatically lightens the mood and helps you realize your friend isn’t being demanding. However, it does seem that they are implying that you are always late, and they are telling you “don’t be late” as a joke or smart remark that is funny between friend.

The punctuation at the end of a sentence or statement is highly important and it can determine the tone of the message. If your friend wrote the same exact text shown above and followed the sentence with a happy face emoji, or an angry face emoji it would definitely give you the exact emotion your friend is feeling towards the situation. Using emojis to express your emotions in a text or email is similar to showing expression on your face when you are having a conversation in person.

Emojis were originally thought to be something the younger crowd used to communicate with their friends. However, business people are finding that the use of emoji is making it easier to communicate via text and email with colleagues and clients in a clear and precise way.

Do you use emojis in your business correspondence?