The world’s leading language experts have noted that young people are ‘fundamentally’ altering written communication based on what they perceive to be aggressive or offensive.
In particular, the use of the full stop, or period, in sentences is diminishing according to linguists because it has come to signify annoyance or offence.
“Full stops are, in my experience, very much the exception and not the norm in [young people’s] instant messages, and have a new role in signifying an abrupt or angry tone of voice,” notes Owen McArdle, a linguist at the University of Cambridge.
Fellow linguist Dr Lauren Fonteyn of Leiden University said “If you send a text message without a full stop, it’s already obvious that you’ve concluded the message. So if you add that additional marker for completion, they will read something into it and it tends to be a falling intonation or negative tone.”