Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Study on Exclamation Marks in MO Letter Titles!

Have you ever noticed how many of those old MO Letter titles have an exclamation mark at the end? It's like you look down a Lifelines index and that's all you see--The Dead Body! The Sad Trip! Correspondence Between Dad and His Brother in the US! Everything's just so exciting. You wonder why we loved Dad so much, well he was just so excited about everything. Solitaire! Members! The Psychic Cat!
I decided to count them. Well, why don't you just get an Index and do a search for the number of exclamation! Every single computerized ML Index--Infostore, MO site, stolen apostate files--have all the original exuberant punctuations removed by the grim and boring editors.Luckily, I found that the Main Menu in Infostore still has the priceless relics of enthusiasm hanging at the precipices of its MO Letter titles, so I decided to start there. One problem: the search there doesn't give you a total found number, just a one by one display of the next exclamation mark in the list. I would still have to count them.
I found that counting clicks on the 'Next' button audibly was faster than visually, so I sat there for a good 45 minutes hammering away at the keyboard to get these for you. For you!

At the end of it all, it came down to 2810 exclamation marks in the 3663 MLs in my Infostore. That's a huge 79%!--Of all MLs ever!--Have exclamation marks!

Here's a graph of the percentages of ML titles with exclamation marks:
You can see that, although we began at a rather low 32%, we have climbed almost exponentially until peaking around the time of Grandpa's death at a massive 81%, and then levelling off somewhat under Mama, to a more professional 79%.

Studying this graph, you can actually date the enthusiasm level in the Family at any given time, and judge whether it fell between super wow or just wow. As you can see, we were at hyper turbo super charismatic wow levels up until about 1982 (1200 exclams--ML #1694), after which we slow down a bit. Then in 1987 (1800 exclams--ML #2352), we shoot up again a little more turboish, and then slow it down, still climbing.

And if all this exuberance is making you cringe, well just check out the look of the original homepage of the Forbes-500-conglomerate-monster-to-end-all-monsters--Google itself! Is that an exclamation mark behind the giant? --Or Yahoo!'s current homepage! Or Jeopardy! It seems to me that entrepreneurs in general have a high level of enthusiasm about things the rest of us would consider mundane (like The Potato! .......for instance.... [#718]).


Fun facts about our history of excitingness:

The first 100 exclamation marks came at ML #306 (Sex Works). (There's some kind of code at work here telling me something).

Some MLs even have more than one exclamation mark! 'Sorry, Judas!--It's Too Late to Quit!' (772), or 'BIP Chapter 05--Jacob meets Rachel!, School of Laban!, and Jacob Becomes Israel!' (1143). THREE exclamation marks! In ONE Letter! (It's an exciting one.)

After Grandpa's death, you have three consecutive points just hovering at 81%--as if the Family had paused on the brink for a second, unsure of which direction to go with our exclamation marks.

Victory Over Comparing, Part 1 has no exclamation mark

Victory Over Comparing, Part 2!, however, suddenly got way more exciting!

The entire Conviction Vs Compromise Series! (that aren't questions) are punctuated with exclamation marks. This goes for the Law of Love Series! and the Loving Jesus Series! and every World Currents! that was ever made (105 of them).

All the Activate the World! series have exclamation marks......except for Part 7. (At least in the Infostore Main Menu)

The Choices and Consequences letters do not have exclamation marks.

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At 8:52 pm, Blogger Mourmaline said...

Wow, Joe, I'm amazed. You're pretty good at this research stuff. And that's so cool how you graphed it all. Love you lots. Take care.

At 6:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha morbid dude. I still luv you.

At 8:08 am, Anonymous mom said...

This is fantastic Joe. I'm totally impressed! You're taking after BOTH! your Mom! and your Dad!!! as far as getting into statistics and graphs! I think Grandpa actually wrote something about using exclamation marks--maybe you could search your Infostore for that and see if he did. I got in trouble one time, called down IN PRINT in an old FSM for being blase'--Lord help me. I got desperate about that right away! If there's one thing this Family isn't, it's blase'!

Love you tons! Thanks for this, it's so exciting! ha!

Love you!

Mom (!)

At 10:11 pm, Anonymous Steve said...

HA! this is good man

At 1:36 am, Blogger whacky said...

Heh! That was interesting. Good to know how exciting our Family is and has been.

Though I'm a bit surprised the Choices and Consequences letters didn't have exclamation points.

At 4:33 pm, Blogger Jesse said...

Ha that is so neat.

At 7:12 am, Blogger thisisme said...

Neat, it is... but I find all those exclamation marks in the texts make them tedious after the first paragraph or two. Its just 3rd grade smarts that the more you use the thing (!) the less and less the urgency it contains for the reader.

But, lets be glad that we have professional, objective editors for the letters now that place exclamation marks where their needed.


At 7:00 am, Anonymous Tina said...

hahaha...ur crazy!...but GBY


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