Ben Crair, story editor for The New Republic:
In most written language, the period is a neutral way to mark a
pause or complete a thought; but digital communications are
turning it into something more aggressive. “Not long ago, my
17-year-old son noted that many of my texts to him seemed
excessively assertive or even harsh, because I routinely used a
period at the end,” Mark Liberman, a professor of linguistics at
the University of Pennsylvania, told me by email. How and why did
the period get so pissed off?
I used to write more formally in texts and IMs, but as time goes on I’ve developed/accepted more of a dashed-off style, super terse, and without thinking about it, I do often omit the trailing period. Hitting “Send” feels like punctuation enough.
(Via Kevin Drum.)
★ Monday, 6 January 2014