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Life technology Uncategorized

‘Study: Text messages that end in a period seen as less sincere’

From EurekAlert:

Text messages that end with a period are perceived to be less sincere than messages that do not, according to newly published research from Binghamton University.


Remember grunge fashion? Suburbanites who had the financial means to dress neatly instead donned frayed flannels and ripped jeans. They dressed down, hoping to fit in.

I’d like to propose a corollary concept: grammar-grunge. In grammar-grunge, otherwise-literate communicators intentionally disregard proper punctuation, form and syntax. I know when to use “whom” instead of “who.” But because “whom” makes me sound like a pretentious jackass, I swallow that last consonant. I do the same thing when I eschew snooty words (e.g. “lain”), use a preposition to end a sentence, or disregard a hundred other poorly-understood grammar rules. No one else follows them; I don’t either, because I’m afraid of appearing snobbish.

Over the past two decades, texting has acquired its own vernacular—its own sloppy syntax. The cell phone’s numeric keypad made pecking out messages infuriatingly cumbersome. “Unnecessary” punctuation quickly fell to the wayside. Even when the mobile typing experience grew better (thanks to improved keyboards from Blackberry and Apple), sloppiness remained the standard.

In this world of careless touch-typists, proper form sticks out. Anyone who deviates from the informal norm—say, by punctuating her sentences—must have a reason. Other texters assume that the nonconformist’s pedantic periods have meaning. Is she being curt? Is she criticizing my improper form? Or maybe—as this study indicates—she’s being insincere, even sarcastic.

To avoid being misinterpreted, I again resort to grammar-grunge. I type “hey” instead of “Good morning!” I forgo my beloved semicolons. I even drop in the occasional “WTF”.

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culture internet Uncategorized

CAPITAL LETTERS: the unforgiveable Internet sin

Curse out someone’s grandmother. Threaten to burn down their house. Spew slurs that would get you arrested anywhere else. On the Internet, just about anything goes. But there’s one thing you cannot do. One thing that will earn you sworn enemies and get you banned from the crudest of forums. YOU CANNOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS.

By all means, use bold weight. Use italic styling. Use asterisks or /slashes/. But don’t use ALL CAPS, or you’re clearly a frothing, misanthropic maniac. “Stop screaming!” others snap, hands pressed to virtual ears. “My eyes!” they weep, hiding their faces.

Can’t we redeem the CAPS LOCK key? Bold, italic, and asterisks all require multiple, laborious keystrokes (“I have to hit ‘b’ AND ‘Control’?! Ugh!”). But good ol’ CAPS LOCK requires just one quick tap. Can’t we celebrate its gloriously convenient ability to EMPHASIZE and DECLARE?

Categories
culture

CAPITAL LETTERS: the unforgivable Internet sin

Curse out someone’s grandmother. Threaten to burn down their house. Spew slurs that would get you arrested anywhere else. On the Internet, just about anything goes. But there’s one thing you cannot do. One thing that will earn you sworn enemies and get you banned from the crudest of forums. YOU CANNOT TYPE IN ALL CAPS.

By all means, use bold weight. Use italic styling. Use asterisks or /slashes/. But don’t use ALL CAPS, or you’re clearly a frothing, misanthropic maniac. “Stop screaming!” others snap, hands pressed to virtual ears. “My eyes!” they weep, hiding their faces.

Can’t we redeem the CAPS LOCK key? Bold, italic, and asterisks all require multiple, laborious keystrokes (“I have to hit ‘b’ AND ‘Control’?! Ugh!”). But good ol’ CAPS LOCK requires just one quick tap. Can’t we celebrate its gloriously convenient ability to EMPHASIZE and DECLARE?