Finishing texts with full stop makes you sound insincere – study

© Robert Galbraith
Being tyrannical about correct punctuation might already get you labeled a “Grammar Nazi” but now a new study claims that even ending a text message with a full stop makes you appear like a bit of a jerk.

Researchers at Binghamton University, New York, say text messages that end with a period are perceived to be “less sincere” than messages that forgo the punctuation mark.

The syntax study tested the social impact of the full stop on 126 students. Following a series of experimental exchanges, participants were asked to give their opinion on messages with and without the period.

According to the research, messages finishing up with the little dot were less desirable and seen as insincere. It appears that the period might be seen as the equivalent to a real-world frosty goodbye or a terse gesture.

“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,” said lead researcher Celia Klin, in a statement.

“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."

“Given that people are wonderfully adept at communicating complex and nuanced information in conversations, it’s not surprising that as texting evolves, people are finding ways to convey the same types of information in their texts,” Klin added.

Despair not, grammar buffs ... there's still a way to maintain your punctuation standards and not come off as a miserable so-and-so.

Further studies by Klin’s team revealed an exclamation point is interpreted as more sincere. Phew!