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Tuesday, February 07, 2023

“OK” vs. “OK.”

Punctuation is making a blunt comeback in the texting world. Period.

An American University study on the texting habits of American college students has resurfaced on social media after a recent article by The New Republic. The study found that 39 percent of students sampled sent text messages that used punctuation at the end of each sentence.

Because the period is used less often, many students view its usage as intentional. It is left to the recipient to decide why the punctuation was added.

“If you add punctuation when you don’t usually, that’s extra,” said UF linguistics professor Galia Hatav.

Hatav agreed that punctuation can be used to convey tone or add extra information when texting but noted that context is important.

“When you add the period, it really does mean something,” Hatav said.

Gianna Gamache, a 19-year-old UF recreation, parks and tourism sophomore, said she thinks students overanalyze punctuation when texting.

“If you’re arguing with someone, (using a period) definitely means something,” Gamache said. “But if you’re just talking to someone and you end with a period, to me it would just seem like you’re just using good grammar.”

A version of this story ran on page 1 on 12/3/2013 under the headline "Punctuation sets the tone for student texting, study says"

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