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The week on Twitter

'A billion hearts stop beating'

Looking for a barometer for modern culture? Look no further than the exclamation mark

Alex Bowden

Comments: 1 | Text size: A | A
Ravindra Jadeja celebrates after taking a return catch, Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings, IPL 2013, Kolkata, April 20, 2013
Ravindra Jadeja acts out the exclamation mark © BCCI
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We like to think this column has its finger on the pulse of modern culture. As such, around 50% of this week's Twitter update is about punctuation. Kids love punctuation.

The exclamation
I think we'd all agree that this relatively long, rambling sentence exhibits few of the qualities necessary for it to be considered an exclamation! So why did I use an exclamation mark?

Good question.

The exclamation mark has risen to become the most popular form of punctuation on the IPL teams' official Twitter accounts. It seems to be a written attempt to mirror the excited tones that deliver the TV commentary/hyperbole. But what is an exclamation?

Dictionary definitions place the emphasis on brevity and forcefulness. An exclamation is an excited utterance that you emit almost without control. The classic examples from cricket, would be "shot!" or "he's gone!" These are things you find yourself saying automatically when you are carried away by the action.

IPL Twitter exclamations do not meet this description.

To at least partially offset my irritation, I have decided to try and spot the least appropriate use of an exclamation mark on an official IPL Twitter account each week. Examples are not in short supply.

"@AaronFinch5 is retained as the captain! #PWI #WarriorsForVictory #RoarLikeAWarrior"
@punewarriorsipl

You can test whether something is an exclamation or not by immediately following the utterance in question with the phrase "he exclaimed" as if it were a line of dialogue from a novel.

"Aaron Finch is retained as the captain," he exclaimed.

You see? It doesn't quite work, does it?

"Jadeja back into the attack for his second over! #RR"
@rajasthanroyals

"Jadeja back into the attack for his second over," he exclaimed.

Again, that's not working.

Finally, how about this one?

"Shukla to Raina, its a bouncer and Raina manages to just get enough bat on the ball to get it over the keeper for a boundary! #RR"
@rajasthanroyals

You can make your own mind up about that. Use the "he exclaimed" method if you're unsure.

The genocide
We all know that it's a big moment whenever Sachin Tendulkar comes out to bat.

A billion hearts stop beating when he bats. Join us in wishing a very Happy Birthday to @sachin_rt #WishSachin pic.twitter.com/D4SjPJabZp"
@mipaltan (Mumbai Indians account)

The super excitement
Pune Warriors are about to take the field.

"It's almost time for the match ! RT if you are super excited for this one! #PWI"
@punewarriorsipl

16 retweets.

Retweet if you're not particularly interested but are watching anyway because there's nothing better on TV at the minute!

Just to be clear, that was a knowingly inappropriate use of an exclamation mark.

The knock
Wavell Hinds has seen better.

"I'm not surprise by @henrygayle 175n.o. I saw him score 196 in a Jamaica T20 Trial match. He got out in the 15th over."
@WWHINDS

Red inker this time. Gayle bats for his average these days.

The film review
From Kemar Roach.

"G.I. Joe Is A Pretty Good Picture! #Actionpack"
@KemarAJR

Is that a step up from flat pack?

Life with Kemar Roach
He's never down (or up) for long.

"Sickness Has Come Upon Me!"
@KemarAJR

"Just Had A Gym Session That Was Serious! #OperationSummerBody #NopainNogain"

"Insomnia!"

"Good Practise On A Hot Day!"

"Another Practice Day!"

And he spares no details.

What's your philosophy?
What actions change people's lives? According to Shaun Pollockā€¦

"It's not the right things we do occasionally, rather it's the right things we do consistently that change our lives!"
@7polly7

That's probably more true for those among us who carved out careers as reliable line and length seam bowlers.

Nando's Watch
Trent Copeland, Northamptonshire's overseas signing, is getting to grips with the local culture.

"Tactical avoidance of big breakfast thismorning in preparation for @NorthantsCCC #nandos lunch. It's all about the prep!"
@copes9

Textbook Nando's-smashing groundwork.

RSS FeedAlex Bowden blogs at King Cricket

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Comments: 1 
Posted by tickcric on (April 25, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

This was a very #calculated #witty twitter roundup. "According to Shaun Pollockā€¦" Lol.

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