In the digital age, you seem like a jerk if you end your texts with a period, so it may be better to forgo certain parts of grammar while you’re at it. Texting is the most common computer mediated communication (CMC). It’s often the area where speed is the main priority, with the rest of details falling to the side.
Researchers from the University of Birmingham surveyed a relatively small group of 126 undergraduates. The experiment involved a series of 16 messages and an invitation, followed by a reply be it through text or the traditional pen and paper. The participants were asked to interpret the intentions and meaning of the brief response. And, reportedly, using a period to close your text message makes you look insincere.
However, the same was not observed for handwritten replies.
Even more, people who used the period to end their sentences gave off the impression that they’re downright heartless. It’s apparently just rude. It doesn’t matter if it’s technically the correct way, it simply sends a different sort of message to your friends. According to lead author of the study, Celia Klin, the practice of drawing the text to a full stop “has taken on a life on its own”.
Texting is its own language
Digital communication through texting is like a language on its own now, and most of us have noticed it. Grammar is usually one to take the brunt, along with odd abbreviations, and sometimes writing out words phonetically instead of how they should be spelled. There’s no need to even go through the array of perplexing uses of numbers instead of letters that some deem discernible.
However, texting lacks many of the social cues that most of us use in a face-to-face conversation. Be it tone, facial expression, rhythm of speech, or gaze, it’s impossible to find them through messaging. That is why it has become a bit of its own language, with certain ‘codes’ to compensate for the lack of a true social interaction. For the most part, it’s working.
‘.’ jerk and ‘!’ honest
Texting also sees from the necessity of being rapid and instant upon sending. Some choose to opt for saving some time and sacrifice grammar on the way. Punctuation is part of it, though oddly, only the period seems to draw negative reactions. No one really has time to indicate that their sentence ended. We use the ‘send’ or ‘enter’ now for that. If someone actually added both the ‘period’ and the ‘enter’, then it must mean they really, really meant it.
The exclamation point saw to a different reaction. While normally one to be seen as a near yelling mark, it may actually make your messages appear more sincere while writing. So, if you bother to add a period, you look like a jerk. But, if you take the time to use an exclamation point, it indicates honesty, according to the study.
Texting with proper grammar seems to be a slippery slope, so tread carefully.
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