Periods. What Are They Good For.
If you use TikTok, have children who have cell phones, or follow basically any youngin’ on social media, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about when I say: my generation does not use periods. Unless, of course, we say, “Period!” But usually we punctuate that with an exclamation mark.
More often than not, people my age opt to completely leave out any type of punctuation at the end of texts or tweets, especially short messages, because there’s no need to punctuate if there’s only one sentence, you can just send the message and that counts as the ending point. In addition, Twitter has a character limit, and why waste a character on a period?
I can absolutely confirm without a doubt that everyone my age for some reason thinks that periods are passive-aggressive as hell and if you use one in a text you must be mad about something, or upset with the person you’re sending it to. You just sound… so angry. I can’t explain where this logic came from, but we all hear it the same way. Periods mean you’re unhappy. When you send a sentence with a period, you are sending a clear-cut statement that has a finite end, so it must be about something serious.
If a message contains multiple sentences that need to be divided with a period, usually we just opt for hitting enter/return and starting a new line, or we use a fuck-ton of commas and make paragraphs of run on sentences, which is actually an issue for me when I write formal things (like these blog posts) because my dad has to edit my super long sentences and chop them up into normal sentences.
Alternatively to starting a new line, we take double texting to the extreme by sending multiple messages in rapid succession. We will finish one sentence or one thought, and send it, and then type another and send it immediately after, and do that about five or six times in a row until you have multiple completely different texts that blow up your phone.
On top of all this, I text like I talk, and I talk speedy as heck. I don’t really breathe between sentences or pause at all, so it makes sense that my texts would read like one really fast, long sentence that has no clear end or breaks.
If you text like this, “Hello. Pick up cabbages from the store. Don’t forget the meeting is at seven.” Sure, it looks normal, but it also looks rude. The aggressive capitalization, the harsh periods, it’s just so mean looking!
Periods are something you use to be concise, passive-aggressive, harsh, petty, or all of the above. And, of course, I’m not saying that any of you are wrong for using them, or that you intend to come across this way. I’m just expressing how most people my age see these things. Linguistic differences between generations is ever-changing, and even more so with technology and social media defining our communication with each other.
So, if you see the whippersnappers out on their Razor Scooters wearing Silly Bandz and not using periods, please understand that we aren’t trying to be grammatically incorrect, it’s just a tone thing! We are still fully capable of using them when we need to. It’s just generally that amongst each other we prefer to keep it casual and friendly.
Have a great day.
(See how angry it looks compared to “Have a great day!”)