What your favourite punctuation says about you

We all have our go-to piece of punctuation. Whether you choose a comma or a full stop, an exclamation or question mark, says a lot about who you are. (Maybe, I think.)

Grammar is ostensibly a bunch of rules etched in stone, but punctuation can actually be as expressive as words. Punctuation illustrates the difference between silence and noise, directs the intonation of your voice, and exposes your run-on sentences.

The internet has majorly changed how we use speech too. With many text abbreviations long gone (remember ROFL?), Gen-z has embraced punctuation for how it adds new flourishes to everyday language. For example, here’s a world of difference between *this* and ~this~. Personally, I love a series of commas instead of an ellipsis (,,,) to convey how distressed I am. (We’re not going to unpack why I use that so often.)

So based on no scientific research whatsoever, this is what your punctuation crutch reveals about your behaviour and grammatical ways.

Full Stop (.)

You’re decisive and you like to get straight to the point. People trust your opinions because they appreciate how direct you are. On the other hand, you’re probably a bit boring to be honest, but you seem very well-adjusted.

Comma (,)

Excessive information is your friend. You hate finality, but only because you feel compelled to provide every single detail. You like to get the final word, and really, all the words in.

Exclamation mark (!)

Everyone knows that at this point that an exclamation mark doesn’t really mean yelling. It’s the safety blanket for when a full stop seems too aggressive or insincere. Example: “That dress looks great on you.” vs. “That dress looks great on you!” I’d trust the latter more. If you add an exclamation mark on the end of every sentence, you’re easy-going and fun, but you fear being misjudged or disliked.

Question mark (?)

You have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and you avoid tackling anything until you have complete clarity. Because of this, people might find you slightly annoying or overly persistent. Just trust yourself! Also, you’re quite indecisive. At least, I think so?

En-dash (–)

You love an attractive aesthetic even if it makes you pretentious – and take pride in using the most extra form of parenthesis so recklessly. You’re also absolutely – without a doubt – a writer.

Dash (-)

You’ve either been using the en-dash wrong this whole time or you like to use the most unnecessarily extravagant compound words.

Brackets (( ))

Similar to the en-dash, you’re a bit chaotic. You think you’re great at multi-tasking but you’re actually just making a mess of all of the tasks. Try to add some structure into your life – it could be helpful!

Oxford Comma (,)

You revel in going against the grain. You’re very firm in your beliefs and you are ready to defend them to anyone. And don’t get mad: you’re also a bit of a show-off. Face it, no one is capable of using the Oxford comma without telling everyone about it.

Colon (:)

You’re detail-oriented and trustworthy. People might take you for granted but you’re that one friend who hangs around the sidelines: dependable, loyal and always there to lend a helping hand when you need them most.

Semi-colon (;)

We get it! You’re different! Does anyone actually know what a semi-colon is used for? Who are you??

Ellipsis (...)

Similar to commas, you’re not fond of finality, but beyond that, you’re also quite elusive and unreadable. You tend to be quiet and reserved but you also live for some drama when the opportunity arises.

Ampersand (&)

You’re the kind of person that looks for the short-cuts in life. Most people would call this being lazy, but you’re actually just a great problem solver. Why waste three letters on one word when you can say it in a squiggly line?

At (@)

You’re online too much.

Hash (#)

You’re online way too much. Log off!!

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