Almost every morning when I open up my email, Comcast greets me with some interesting headline that does just want they want it to – draws me in to read the story and hopefully support the advertisers. The other morning, the headline that drew me was The Common Texting Practice That Makes You Seem Insincere.
Wow, I thought. I am a big texter. True, I hold my phone in one hand and use my index finger to tap out the words with the other rather than using only one hand and a thumb like truly sophisticated texters. Still, the story drew me in because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing anything that made me seem insincere, something I almost never am.
Maybe it’s ending texts with TTYL, the way my granddaughter Addie almost always ends her texts. The first time she did this, I had to look it up. I’m not kidding you. I had no idea what she was telling me. (For other baby boomers not totally into the texting lingo, it means talk to you later). But she always seems sincere.
Anyway, when I found out what the practice was that screamed insincerity, you could have knocked me over with a feather. And it must be true because it came from a RESEARCH STUDY. I can’t even imagine how many people now believe me to be insincere. Because the practice is using a period at the end of a sentence.
You: Are we still on for dinner tonight
Me: Yes, that’s fine.
Screams insincerity, doesn’t it?
The problem is that as a writer, and one who loves good grammar even if my grammar ain’t always perfect, I simply can’t write a text message without using punctuation. Just can’t. Question marks, periods, exclamation points, you name it, and I use it.
For the record, I’m not much into using shortcuts in my text messages either. Oh, I have been known to use the occasional “u” instead of “you” or “K” instead of “OK” (though typing that extra O doesn’t really seem that time consuming). I also almost always put BTW instead of writing out by the way, (which is so long I might actually throw my finger out of joint). But I’m not a bit put off when others use shortcuts, as long as I can figure out what the shortcut means.
But back to using punctuation – specifically periods – in text messages. I did my own research, i.e., I checked my most recent messages from Court (we text so often that if I didn’t see him occasionally, I would forget what his voice sounds like). His style is apparently: No period at the end of the final sentence of a text. Punctuation in all previous sentences. Hmmm. Does that mean he is somewhat insincere?
It used to be so easy when we communicated by a telephone attached to the wall with a cord and featuring a rotary dial. No one could see your face as you rolled your eyes.
Finally, does it strike anyone else as odd that good research dollars were spent by the University of Birmingham (in England, not Alabama) to fund this particular study instead of maybe trying to find out how to grow more crops to feed the poor and hungry of the world?
Priorities people! Period.
This post linked to the GRAND Social