Experts Explain Why You Should Never Use A Period When Texting With Someone

Experts say using a period when texting with someone can actually be a bad thing.

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Oct. 11 2018, Updated 11:49 a.m. ET

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Source: getty

I'm pretty anal when I text. If I see any errors in grammar or punctuation in my messages, I have to go back and retype the whole thing. I capitalize letters and use periods.

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Now this might not seem like much of a feat in the age of predictive text and auto-correcting smartphones, but I used to do the same thing when I'd manually type out texts on my alpha-numeric keypad and no, I didn't use t9, either. 

But according to a 2016 study, a full stop, with periods and all types of "proper"' punctuation in text messages apparently comes off as insincere.

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How a punctuation mark can be considered offensive in this day and age, I have no idea, but they've made some pretty convincing arguments to suggest that they're on to something.

"In formal writing, such as what you'd find in a novel or an essay, the period is almost always used grammatically to indicate that a sentence is complete.
With texts, we found that the period can also be used rhetorically to add meaning.
Specifically, when one texter asked a question (e.g., I got a new dog. Wanna come over?), and it was answered with a single word (e.g., yeah), readers understood the response somewhat differently depending if it ended with a period (yeah.) or did not end with a period (yeah).
This was true if the response was positive (yeah, yup), negative (nope, nah) or more ambiguous (maybe, alright).We concluded that although periods no doubt can serve a grammatical function in texts just as they can with more formal writing -- for example, when a period is at the end of a sentence -- periods can also serve as 'textisms', changing the meaning of the text."
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Source: getty

Researchers also pointed out that spoken conversational cues and forms of written correspondence that aren't texts follow different rules than SMS convos. Poor punctuation, an over abundance of punctuation marks and letters are fine for texting to convey certain tones and emotions.

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"In contrast with face-to-face conversation, texters can't rely on extra-linguistic cues such as tone of voice and pauses, or non-linguistic cues such as facial expressions and hand gestures. 
In a spoken conversation, the cues aren't simply add-ons to our words; they convey critical information.
A facial expression or a rise in the pitch of our voices can entirely change the meaning of our words.
It's been suggested that one way that texters add meaning to their words is by using 'textisms' - things like emoticons, irregular spellings (sooooo) and irregular use of punctuation (!!!)."
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You can read the full study conducted by Binghamton University here.

Do you get offended when people are overly formal in texts? Or do you think that this study's making a big deal out of nothing?


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