It’s one of the manners questions of the modern age: should you punctuate texts ‘properly’ or be free and easy and pepper them with emoji?
In a piece of bad news for grammar pedants, it turns out that ‘proper’ punctuation can make people think badly of you (at least when it comes to full stops).
Researchers at Binghampton University found that texts which end with a full stop are perceived as ‘less sincere’ than those which don’t.
The research, which circulated widely on social media this week, looked at 16 exchanges with invitations phrased as questions, ‘Dave gave me his extra tickets? Wanna come?’
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When people replied ‘OK’, ‘Sure’, ‘Yeah’ with a full stop, it was seen as less sincere, the 2015 research paper found.
Celia Klin of Binghampton University said, ‘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.
‘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.’