You can always tell people are pissed if they end their texts with a period. Call it intuition, but it just feels rude.
A new study confirms it's not your imagination. Texts that conclude with a period are perceived as less sincere than their open-ended counterparts.
Researchers from Binghamton University gave 126 undergraduate students a series of messages to read, analyze and rate.
The messages were presented either as texts or as handwritten notes, in order to distinguish between the effect of punctuation in digital and formal communication.
On the whole, students tended to rate the text messages that ended with periods as “less sincere” than the handwritten notes, indicating punctuation has taken on a new meaning in the digital world.
In a statement, lead researcher Celia Klin explained,
Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face convesations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses and so on. People obviously can't use these mechanisms when they are texting. Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them -- emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation.
She added text messages ending in exclamation points were also rated as more sincere than those ending in a period -- which I find to be an unexpected irony, considering the overuse of exclamation points actually diminishes the punctuation mark's intended meaning.
So, sorry, grammar Nazis: In this round, you lose.