The Loop: Love is all around

Paper people holding hands

Welcome to The Loop, the Magazine's letters column, including the best of your thoughts from Twitter and Facebook.

Country legend Conway Twitty complained that there wasn't enough love to go around. It didn't feel like that this week. The Magazine's most-read story was about one house in Sheffield, where its four inhabitants form five couples.

Sarah, Chris, Charlie and Tom, who all live together, are polyamorous - that is, they have simultaneous intimate relationships with more than one person at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all partners.

Poppy from London emails to thank us for explaining to the world how it all works: "I came out as polyamorous at work today - and my boss said, 'That's very French!' I'll send her a link to this story..."

All the same, Katya Simmons spoke for many for whom the concept was a novel one when she tweeted that "one partner is hard work, this is like a full-time job!"

Ah, the exclamation mark. Or should that be: Ah! The exclamation mark!

A very popular article this week explored bangorrhea - that is, the (alleged) over-use of this divisive method of punctuation.

"An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke," wrote F Scott Fitzgerald.

On our Facebook page, Rob Moss begs to differ. "One exclamation mark is fine," he says. "More than one is grounds for violence."

Xanthe Ponsford, by contrast, believes it has been superceded by the emoticon: "The next generation have got it right. They use smiley faces and winks to show their intention is friendly. We are left with exclamation marks or risk offending with a statement that looks too brusque."

Following the announcement that Bradley Manning wants to begin hormone therapy and live as a woman named Chelsea, Tom Geoghegan explored how people who change gender go about finding a new name.

It was an article that struck a chord with Sean Ross from Glasgow.

"At six years old I told my grandfather I was a boy, and with him being a religious person, from the generation he was from, I expected him to laugh at me or worse, but he gave me a big hug and started to call me 'Sean' - a masculine-sounding version on my birth name, 'Sian,'" he writes.

"When I began to transition full time at the age of 15 (with my parents' blessing) that was the name I chose. He had died when I was 12. I took his surname in his honour. Thus I became Sean Ross and I am very proud of my name and I am very sure my grandfather, if he were alive today, would be proud that I am now 25 and completely post-op and living my life to the fullest!"

A cheerful exclamation mark on which to end.

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