IF A PERIOD IS TOO AGGRESSIVE, EXCLAMATION POINTS ARE PROBABLY TRAUMATIC:
Periods may be coming to a full stop.
While older texters may consider the period an innocent symbol that a sentence has ended, digital natives consider it a triggering form of aggression. The punctuation problem ignited over social media recently, with Gen Z and millennials agreeing that ending a sentence with a period is overly hostile and, worse yet, extremely uncool.
“Only old people or troubled souls put periods at the end of every sentence,” wrote digital culture journalist Victoria Turk in her book on digital etiquette, “Kill Reply All.”
The younger generations consider the act of sending a text a sufficient signifier of a complete thought, Turk wrote, making periods feel unnecessary and overly final.
“The thing is, in a messaging conversation, a period is simply not necessary,” she explained. “It’s clear when you’ve finished your thought already, so what function does the period fulfill? As a result, using a period in messaging now looks rather emphatic, and can come across as if you’re quite cross or annoyed.”
The difference between texts saying “That’s funny” and “That’s funny.” may seem subtle to the sender, but many readers will interpret the latter as far less pleasant and more intense, needlessly.
Social media piled onto the sentiment, thanks to Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett.
“Older people — do you realize that ending a sentence with a full stop comes across as sort of abrupt and unfriendly to younger people in an email/chat? Genuinely curious,” she asked in a since-deleted tweet.