using superlative adjectives such as "great", "awful", and
"wonderful" in profusion, and punctuating with exclamation marks more customary to things I might write in 4th grade.
I think this is a compensation for the lack of the ability to give emphasis effectively on line. I use them, but I find the smile and grin emoticons particularly feeble.
I do like the use of asterisks to *emphasize* a word, as if this say "this word matters". Sometimes, I find myself
using twin near-synonyms to make up for what vocal inflection might define/suggest. Overall, though, it's very hard to concisely portray context in e mail or IM, particularly for those of us who use satire and sarcasm intermixed with genuine effusion of enthusiasm in everyday speech. I look back on my journal entry about the woman who writes an interesting journal, and see that I effused that hers was "wonderful stuff" and "dynamite". I'm sure that if I could speak so my hearers could hear, I'd have just said "quite interesting". This childlike enthusiasm
in writing style seems a bit gushy to me, but perhaps I should revel in recapturing the different kind of silliness of younger days.