The Exclamation Mark Epidemic

Assembly is a programming language, about a step above straight binary machine language. Just about anything you want to write in assembly is overwhelmingly long, unreadable, and just waiting to replace the contents of your hard drive with a whole bunch of 1s. It does, however, run very quickly, and for that reason it is used for optimization in some applications. It also is small and lower-level than anything else you can have the computer run, and for that reason it is used for viruses.

Now, if you are a sane human being, or if you use a Windows computer at all, you should be thinking, “Viruses? Those are bad,” and most of the time, you’d be right.

But today I will tell you about a virus, yet to be created, that will make the world a better place.

Think about how often do you see the phrase, “Thanks!” Or perhaps, “Click here to continue!” Do you /really/ think all those exclamation marks are necessary? I would say they are not.

The over-use of the exclamation mark is an epidemic sweeping the world.

To remedy this, I propose the creation of a virus. Embed it in worms, trojans, Word documents, whatever you can find, but make it cause the computer to ignore 19 out of 20 exclamation marks. This can be accomplished by having your code catch the character code, and simply choose not to pass on nineteen exclamation marks before allowing one through.

This would accomplish a few things:

  1. A person would have to seriously consider the requirements before attempting to fill your screen with extraneous exclamation points.
  2. Programmers would be more likely to make use of clean programming practices involving checking for equality with false rather than inequality with true (the exclamation mark is a common synonym for ‘not’ in many programming languages)
  3. It would alert the world to the dangers of exclamation mark over-use (anxiety, stress, broken ‘1’ keys on a keyboard, grammar errors, etc.)
  4. It would cut the space requirements for archving mailing-lists and news groups by many thousands of gigabytes worldwide, resulting in savings of billions of dollars.
  5. It would make the internet, overall, a much gentler, less abrasive place, resulting in higher test scores and fewer suicides.

Stop the exclamation mark epidemic. Do it for yourself, do it for everybody.

2 thoughts on “The Exclamation Mark Epidemic

  1. I’m with you, buddy. Maybe add another part to the code to “beep” if the user attempts to type two consecutive exclamation marks, and an instant system restart with no opportunity to save for four or more consecutives.

    These people need a short, sharp lesson.

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