Science Says That If You Text Like This, People Think You’re a Jerk

Hint: It has to do with your ways of punctuation.


Long gone are the days of T9 predictive texting. The modern smartphone grants you the same functionality of a full keyboard on a smaller scale, so people no longer have to have the eternal debate between “lmao,” “lol,” and “lqtm.” People are more likely now to text like they would talk or write an e-mail, but still, there are certain grammatical liberties that many choose to take—including these annoying text habits everyone probably has

For example, plenty of people just don’t punctuate when it comes to texting. And according to new research published in Computers in Human Behavior, that’s a good thing, because if you punctuate, people might just think you’re kind of a jerk.

The research involved testing a group of people on how they perceived certain text message exchanges, with varying degrees of built-in emotion. Participants were asked to analyze responses to an invitation to go out somewhere and meet up on a scale of 1 to 7, with “7” denoting a text which seemed really excited about the plans and the “1” denoting nonexistent enthusiasm for the plans.  

The texts were divided into positive responses (“yeah”), negative responses (“no,” “nah”), and neutral responses (“alright,” “maybe”). And no matter the substance of the texts, punctuation always made the message skew negative.

When asked to review a positive response without a period, the reviewers view it positively. But when that period was added on the end, the view shifted to negative. Across the board, messages with periods at the end were given a score of 3.79, while those without were given an average score of 4.26.

“In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. What they infer, plausibly enough, is something like ‘This is final, this is the end of the discussion or at least the end of what I have to contribute to it,’” Mark Liberman, a Linguistics Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, told the New Republic.

So if you can manage to quell the grammar nerd screaming inside your head, maybe leave out the period next time you agree to a date. And to calm your nerves, peruse through these hilarious grammar jokesthey’re designed just for you!

[Source: Men’s Health]

Popular Videos