Wednesday, August 20, 2014

  • Wednesday, August 20, 2014
  • Elder of Ziyon
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LikeElizabeth, NJ, August 20 - A local teen expressed gratification this morning after deciding to use four, instead of only three, exclamation points in a Facebook post admonishing her friends to show their support for the Israel Defense Forces in the ongoing confrontation with Hamas in and around the Gaza Strip.
Batsheva Sudwerts, 16, felt moved to type the words, "sho yr support 4 tzahal by liking this" into her iPhone's Facebook app after seeing news of renewed rocket fire at Israel's southern towns and the IDF response. The junior at the Frisch School in Paramus used the Hebrew acronym for the IDF, and then spent several seconds deliberating how many exclamation points were necessary to convey the level of forcefulness she wished to impart.
"It was obvious I had to use at least two, because even the typical 'Happy Birthday' or 'Mazel Tov' message uses that many, and often more," Sudwerts explained. "I needed to find the right balance between sounding too muted and too shriekingly desperate." Finally, she said, she settled on four exclamation points as the right blend of urgency and confidence in the rightness of the cause.
The response among Sudwerts's Facebook friends appears to support her decision. Among the thirteen users who saw the post within the first four minutes, nine immediately clicked "Like," and three of the other four instead clicked "Share," with the lone dissenter a male classmate who fancies Sudwerts but is maintaining an aloof appearance so as not to appear desperate. Sources among the incoming junior class at Frisch agree that support for the IDF runs strong, given the Modern Orthodox and Religious Zionist credentials of the institution and its target demographic in northern New Jersey.
"It's important for Batsheva to express herself properly on this issue, and I, for one, am proud that she chose that number of exclamation points," says principal Dr. Kalman Stein. "The crucial balance between modernity and tradition is exactly what we strive to impart to our students, and that skill of balancing competing ideals simply shines forth in Batsheva's Facebook status." Sudwerts and her classmates were seen to roll their eyes and stifle multiple giggles upon reading Stein's reaction on the school's Twitter feed.
The event marks the second time in less than a month that an Elizabeth-area teen has had to devote attention to the number of exclamation points in a Facebook post. Three weeks ago, a high school senior from Passaic nearly sabotaged her chances at romance with the object of her affections by failing to append any exclamation points at all after a comment on the photo of her prospective beau's baby nephew. The lack of emphatic terminal punctuation made her "2 cute" comment risk seeming sarcastic, but fortunately she was able to edit the comment to include six exclamation points before the boy saw it.


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