The Period vs. The Unpunctuated, Un-Ended Sentence

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