Binghamton University recently conducted a study that found the use of a period in text messaging conveys insincerity and clouds the text in an unfriendly tone. Scientists define texting as computer-mediated communication or CMC. "The rapid pace of texting mimics face-to-face communication, leading to the question of whether the critical non-verbal aspects of conversation, such as tone, are expressed in CMC," says the study.
Researchers in the study tested the effect of the period as a social cue within the context of CMC by working with a small group of test subjects (126 undergraduates). Each student was presented with a series of exchanges, framed either as text messages or handwritten notes. All communication featured an invitation followed by a reply with a period. The subjects rated text messages that ended with a period as less sincere than when no punctuation was used. The insincerity effect was not present in handwritten notes.
The lead researcher of the study, Celia Klin, argues that the period has taken on a life of its own outside of the laws of grammar. "It is no longer just the correct way to end a sentence. It's an act of psychological warfare against your friends."
So perhaps you should think twice before you use proper grammar unless, of course, you want to give off a negative vibe.
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Do you think periods are monstrous in texts? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.