Every. Single. Word.

On this, the shortest day of the year, let’s look at a device that has gained popularity in recent years. It’s a punctuation trick that mimics the way we put extra force behind a phrase by emphasizing every single word. Or, should I say: Every. Single. Word.

The first time you see it, you think, “Hey, that’s kind of clever” and vow to use it yourself. Should you?

If you are one of the cool kids, you will spot it very early in the fashion cycle. Just as you do with clothing and music and slang. And you will reinforce your coolness by using it.

If you are one of those people who tries to act like the cool kids, you’ll only notice it after it has gained some circulation. When the cool kids see you using it, they’ll know it’s time to move on to a new trend.

If you are like most of us, you won’t really pay attention until it’s everywhere. You’ll be tempted to use it because it seems so contemporary. By then, it has lost its punch. The cool kids will be snickering behind your back because you are being soooo last year.

When you see multiple people adopting these trendy little touches in articles, blogs, chat rooms and the like, the trend has already passed its freshness date.

Be as original as you can. That’s what the cool kids do.

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