STATES CHRONICLE – As the world changes around us, we tend to do the same. And as we do that, we also change our behaviors, and even our communication. Texting has become one of the most used forms of communication, and we have adapted in order to more efficiently use it. So, even though it may come as a surprise, but punctuation can lead to misunderstandings when texting.
A study performed by scientists from the Binghamton University’s, led by Celia Klin, has demonstrated that texts that end in a period are perceived as insincere.
After analyzing a sample of 126 participants, the researchers made the startling discovery that punctuation in text messages has kind of developed a life of its own.
The study consisted of having the sample made of undergraduates (who even though are not really representative of the entire population, they are, let’s face it, the ones who text the most) participate in either a short texting session, or sending handwritten messages to each other.
The experiment was short, consisting of an invitation and a short reply. This is where things begin to get interesting. While texting, participants found the messages that ended in a period as being insincere. The same was not applicable in the case of the handwritten messages.
This is a strange and very interesting occurrence. As we made texting increasingly closer to how we speak in real life, with the introduction of emoticons, jumbled words, and abbreviations, as well as the increasingly high rate at which we text, we managed to create a means of communications that follows a completely different set of rules.
In actual writing, including in the handwritten notes that were part of the experiment, punctuation is needed because this is how writing works.
A comma, a semicolon, or a period in the wrong place can completely change the meaning of a sentence, so we tend to try to use them properly so we can understand each other. However, while texting, those same punctuation marks can instill different emotions in the participants.
A different study is being performed in order to determine the emotional value we give other punctuation marks while texting. So far, it was determined that using an exclamation point is deemed as more sincere than using a full stop to end a sentence.
Now, texting is basically a language of its own, with its own rules, and researchers are looking into that. Whether this generation managed to accidentally invent a new language system in order to more conveniently text each other is still up for debate, but a research into that is not so far away.
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