Language evolves, so oldsters like me should get just used to it, right? Well, langauge was evolving long before “text” was a verb, and that’s exactly the reason why the English of Dickens and Shakespeare and Chaucer looks so different from our ordinary speech.
I still use a pay-as-you-go dumb phone, and have to pay per message, so I use periods to pack multiple thoughts into each text. I use some abbreviations, for the same reason, but only to make a too-long message fit.
According to Klin and her fellow researchers… the text message period has taken on a life of its own. It is no longer just the correct way to end a sentence. It’s an act of psychological warfare against your friends. In follow-up research that hasn’t yet been published, they saw signs that exclamation points — once a rather uncouth punctuation mark — may make your messages seem more sincere than no punctuation at all.
“Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on,” Klin said in a statement. “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.”
It’s no surprise that language is evolving in weird and potentially scary ways, because language has always done that. Just chalk this one up to human ingenuity — even when we can’t talk face to face, we’ll always find ways to be jerks to one another. —Chicago Tribune