People are furiously debating whether full stops are 'intimidating' in texts
iStock

Some linguistics experts believe that young people are intimidated by full stops – because they believe it’s a sign of anger.

People in Generation Z – and millennials – may find full stops at the ends of sentences ‘intimidating’ because they imply that the person writing them is angry.

The debate seemed to start on Twitter when someone tweeted and asked whether older people realised that ending a sentence with a full stop came across as abrupt or unfriendly to younger people. It’s carried on for almost two weeks since, with people pointing out that it’s just grammar, while others say that they won’t be changing their habits.

Owen McArdle, a linguist, told the Telegraph, “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."

Some people suggested that other kinds of punctuation might be too stressful if a full stop is too.

A previous study from the Binghamton University at New York found that young people even though full stops were insincere – but that study only had a sample size of 126 people. Regardless, ending a sentence with a full stop still may seem formal to young people –but it’s probably not actually scaring them.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)