Home Consumer Study: Ending Texts With A Period Makes People Think You’re A Jerk

Study: Ending Texts With A Period Makes People Think You’re A Jerk

woman texting

By Kimberly Truong, , Mashable, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Dec 9, 2015 – Brevity may be the soul of wit when it comes to texting, but punctuation is key.

No one likes receiving a text with a period attached to the end, according to a new scientific study. Sure, it might be grammatically correct but people really will think you’re a jerk.

The study, conducted by Celia Klin and her team of researchers at the Binghamton University, found that text messages that end with a period are perceived to be less sincere.

To conduct their research, Clin and her team recruited 126 Binghamton undergraduates to read a series of 16 messaging exchanges.

The exchanges began with questions (“Wanna hang out?” etc.) and ended with one-word replies that either ended with a period (like “Sure.”) or ended with no punctuation at all (i.e., “Ok”).

Based on the participants’ responses, the texts that ended with a period were seen as being much more insincere than the texts that had no punctuation at the end.

Klin explains that this is an indication of how punctuation plays a part in communicating — particularly, communications that are computer-mediated.

“Texting is lacking many of the social cues used in actual face-to-face conversations. When speaking, people easily convey social and emotional information with eye gaze, facial expressions, tone of voice, pauses, and so on,” Klin said in a statement.

“People obviously can’t use these mechanisms when they are texting. Thus, it makes sense that texters rely on what they have available to them — emoticons, deliberate misspellings that mimic speech sounds and, according to our data, punctuation.”

Moreover, texts that ended with an exclamation came off as being more, rather than less, sincere.

“That’s not surprising, but it broadens our claim,” said Klin. “Punctuation is used and understood by texters to convey emotions and other social and pragmatic information. Given that people are wonderfully adept at communicating complex and nuanced information in conversations, it’s not surprising that as texting evolves, people are finding ways to convey the same types of information in their texts.”

So when in doubt, omit that period. And when in desperation, add the exclamation mark.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here