The price of punctuation

The price of punctuation

Rachel Jackson, Staff Reporter

Have you ever texted someone and they put a period at the end of their text? Suddenly the casual flow of conversation turns into something serious, causing you to  feel anxious about their mood, wondering if they’re angry with you or if you said something wrong. All of these negative feelings on how the inconsequential chat went come from symbols on a screen. Why is it that a small dot at the end of a sentence can change your perspective of a text so drastically? I think it’s because the period represents the end of something. Whenever we use it in a sentence, it puts some finality in your voice, signaling what you say is final.

Now, is this a bad thing? No. I like the idea of punctuation being a trend. It helps us fully comprehend the messages we receive as well as keeping us grounded on proper grammar. Plus it serves as a healthy habit to practice simultaneously while we’re doing something we enjoy.

A recent story on how texting affects grammar states, “The more kids send and receive texts, the worse their grammar skills become.” Well if we practice using the fundamentals of the English language whenever we shoot out a text, wouldn’t that improve our grammar skills?

However, I don’t want people assuming I’m upset with them just because I chose to add a period at the end of my sentence. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll add a semicolon or comma and suddenly they assume I’m being short with them. In this day and age, people choose to text very differently, whether it’s “see you there” or “C U There” or, my preferred, “I’ll see you there.” I honestly can’t keep up with what’s acceptable and what’s considered rude.

I do, however, strongly encourage the use of punctuation whenever texting. Not only does it give the receiver of your message clear information, but also can enhance your English skills, which I’m sure your teachers will very much appreciate.

So the next time you’re texting someone and they add a period to the end of their sentence, don’t assume they’re annoyed with you, maybe they’re just a big fan of punctuation, like me. Also, why not try it as well? I promise texting is just as fun even when you’re using proper conventions.