Period Piece: A Punctuation Post

The Washington Post is encouraging people to drop the period. You know, that one at the end of sentences, like this one.↙

This is probably going to make me sound like an old person yelling at clouds, but I can't get behind this one. My daughter* got annoyed with me for using periods in a message to one of her coaches. She said I sounded angry. Because I used a period? Really?

What is a period? It's a punctuation mark that let's the reader know you have ended a sentence. That is all. Let's not assign a lot of emotional baggage to a tiny dot, ok? Everyday we communicate through text messages, and we (possibly women more than men?) do a lot of self-policing. Do I put a happy face at the end of this message so this person knows I'm friendly? Maybe I should throw in a few exclamation points so everyone knows I'm excited about this. Why not add a few unicorns too?

I always use periods in texts to my contemporaries. We understand a period is just a period. I do find myself leaving out periods in texts to younger people since my child pointed it out. Am I afraid of looking old? Am I part of the problem? Do we really need to add to our list of social anxieties like this?!!

I think I'm afraid of living in a Henry James long run-on sentence nightmare, where I search line after line hunting for the period just to put the sentence out of its misery. Paragraphs should not be one long sentence. I refuse to read anymore James. I cannot live in a world full of Henry James impersonators.

Anyway if I send you a message and end it with a period, I'm not mad at you. Really.

*I accidentally put a ! instead of a ? in a text and the same teenaged child wrote back: "Why are you yelling at me?"


  1. Ha, so funny what embarrasses kids. I always write full sentences in texts. And the thought of not using a period is ridiculous.

  2. I couldn't believe this was true about young people and so I asked my coworkers. None of their kids use periods! Of course, this from a woman who refuses to use text speak even when texting. I once had a friend watching me text tell me she now understands why I take so long to reply. I write everything out.

  3. Getting rid of periods makes no sense to me.

  4. See, I am in the middle of the road of this scenarios... I don't have kids to tell me what is 'cool' and I am apparently too old to know these things myself. So, I use periods in texts all the time. lol But, I do self-police worrying that people will get the wrong idea about what I am trying to say. Getting rid of the period is just as stupid as not teaching children cursive writing. It is like they are just ensuring society gets lazier and lazier.

    1. I also should proofread what I am writing instead of telling the dog he has to wait a minute and hitting send...

  5. LOL I have to admit I usually drop the period in texts. But that doesn't it's like passé or anything. Right? Right kids? *feels old*

  6. Look, I already learned to use one space instead of two after periods. Let's not go nuts here. And since when do teenagers control the grammar for the rest of us?

  7. ^^ I had to teach myself that too! It's was so hard to drop that space. I refuse to drop the periods too. Ridiculous.

  8. I always write in texts as I would in an email - which is how it would be if I was sending a letter. Gets there faster, that's all. (And I edit texts to make sure there's no spelling, grammar, punctuation, or capitalization errors.) I guess I'm showing my age. {sigh}

  9. Hahaha, I don't think we have to worry about periods being phased out of formal writing. I do tend to think something's wrong if another person uses a period in a text message (especially if it's like "Okay."), but it varies depending on the person. Some folks just use more formal punctuation in texts! Which is fine!

  10. I think the whole thing is beyond ridiculous. As one of my friends said after reading the article, "And we wonder why we have an entire generation of children who cannot write properly to save their life."

    I think the Time article explains it all. And no, we should never let teenagers dictate grammar. Just like we don't let teenagers do a lot of things adults can do. Because they are teenagers, which are really just toddlers in grown-up bodies!

  11. I adore punctuation, and I ain't givin' it up! (Whoops: hollering there.)


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