Please enable JS
07 January 2014 /Mark Benson

Ben Crair, interviewing Mark Liberman – professor of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania – on the evolving meaning of the full stop:

“In the world of texting and IMing … the default is to end just by stopping, with no punctuation mark at all,” Liberman wrote me. “In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. [...]

I'm still clinging to the virtues of properly-punctuated text messages, but it's admittedly a dying (dare I say grotesque?) art. I wonder what sort of punctuation we'll use to communicate internet-connected machine statuses 10 years from now. Is it time to finally canonize a set of standard irony and sarcasm marks, but for machines only?