So, I’m writing an important text the other day. I forget to whom. Maybe it was a “Hey Santa, I can explain” note of love. Anywho, my blushing bride is proofing it for me and shared that the placement of a certain period makes me look angry.
It’s a period, not an exclamation point. Even braces in an emoticon can show some angst (or a mustachioed emoticon if turned upside down), but a period?! It makes no sense to me. And then, I read this article from the New Republic that is making me reconsider writing for something with less regimen in it.
Like the U.S. Penal Code.
Evidently, you can’t use periods. You know? As in, the end of a simple, declarative sentence, without pissing someone off these days in a texting forum.
“This is an unlikely heel turn in linguistics. In most written language, the period is a neutral way to mark a pause or complete a thought; but digital communications are turning it into something more aggressive,” pens Ben Crair, the author of this confusing story. And then, he uses a quote that throws into a tizzy!
Sorry … “tizzy.”
“The unpunctuated, un-ended sentence is incredibly addicting,” said Choire Sicha, editor of the Awl. “I feel liberated to make statements without that emphasis, and like I’m continuing the conversation, even when I’m definitely not.”
“Liberated?” Seriously, Susan B. Anthony? You upholding the banner of grammarian suffrage because punctuation just isn’t looked upon like big punctuation marks any longer? Are we so hypersensitive that even texting is enough to make us find a new disease, like “punctuation rage”? Because that’s what I’m experiencing right about now.
The period, as simple as it seems, was written to indicate pause. Now, copywriters get a little jiggy with it and have fun with punctuation as in “something. like. this.” I guess the question mark and exclamation point wanted someone else to join the “we create tone and personality in a damn sentence” party. And so, the lowly period gets recruited.
Am I the only one perturbed by this issue? I miss the days when writing meant writing, not reading into what I didn’t write. Oh wait, there may be an exception: I recall texting the aforementioned bride the other day about a broken HVAC unit and some money I may have spent on a video game instead of repairs.
“OK.” That was it.
…Yeah, scratch this post. I get it now. Damnit.