Lately, I’ve been thinking about just how much reading I do in a day because of the internet. And just how much I take that for granted. I began to wonder just how many people out there don’t or can’t slurp up knowledge like many of us do online simply because of the fact that their reading skills don’t allow them to do so. Was there some way I could influence more people to use the web to their advantage? Helping out with adult literacy seemed like a good place to start.
Being that today is the 1st of September and many kids are headed back to school (along with my teacher friends), I wanted to do something to join in the fun. I decided that I would attempt to go an entire month without using an exclamation point.
It didn’t take long for other Twitterati to respond with some heckling. @jonincalgary didn’t think I could go for 10 minutes, other people gave me a week. @jkitte asked if there was a pool going yet as to how long I would last. Within a few moments, my little challenge linked itself with my desire to do something for adult literacy.
And so my challenge was born. Not only would I go the entire month of September without using an exclamation mark, but I would go 100 days without using one in any personal form of communication. This includes any non-work related, text-based piece including emails, Facebook or MSN chats, tweets, blog posts, text messages, comments on other blog posts, status updates on any social networks, etc. from today until December 9th.
If I make it to December 10th at 12:00 am without using an exclamation mark, I will donate $100.00 to the ABC Life Literacy Canada. If I slip up, I’ll double the donation. Your job – see if you can catch me slipping up. The more I write, the more I talk, the more I tweet, the more likely it is that I will accidentally slip an exclamation mark in there somewhere.
Now, for those of you without the time to heckle me and trip me up on my punctuation, I’ve created a Giving Page should you feel the desire to support the cause as well. You can find that page here. Any donations made through this page go straight to ABC Life Literacy Canada. I’ve set the goal at $100.00 to match what I’ll be donating on December 10th.
After setting up the Giving Page, I figured that was it. I’d go on my merry way not using exclamation points. But when I googled ABC Life Literacy Canada and came up with their website, I also discovered that September is literacy month. Could my timing be any better? I don’t think so.
Here I am, giving up my favourite piece of punctuation in hopes of making a small dent on those who can’t make as easy and efficient use of the internet as I do. Goodbye exclamation point. Goodbye.