It goes without saying that full stops at the end of texts are entirely unnecessary and annoying, but now a study has actually confirmed it.
Researchers led by Binghamton University’s Celia Skin found that texts ending with full stops are perceived as “less sincere” and are likely to rub the recipient up the wrong way.
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Text messaging is one of the most frequently used computer-mediated communication (CMC) methods. 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.
They presented a group of 126 people with a series of exchanges framed as either text messages or handwritten notes, featuring an invitation and a brief reply. When the reply was followed by a full stop, subjects rated the response as less sincere than when no punctuation was used. This effect was missing from the handwritten notes.
Klin and her fellow researchers say that suggests the full stop has a life of its own when it comes to text messaging. It’s just not the correct way to end a sentence in a text. In follow-up research yet to be published, they actually saw an indication that exclamation marks make your message seem MORE sincere.
It’s kind of an obvious result really so I’m not sure it was worth a full-on study, but I guess you can now rub it in the faces of friends who use full stops in their texts. For example this Neanderthal:
That person 100% doesn’t want to go for drinks. Full stop says it all. I mean they’re not saying no, but it’s definitely a reluctant yes. Like yeah I’ll come but I’m not very happy about it. So much meaning, so much truth in one tiny little dot.
Then you’ve got this sad case:
That person is 100% NOT OK and hates the other person’s guts. It’s all right there in the first stop. Can’t argue with it.
So yeah, go light on the punctuation next time you’re drunkenly texting Drake lyrics to girls, otherwise they’ll think you’re completely take the piss.