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Period. Full Stop. Point. Whatever It’s Called, It’s Going Out of Style

  • Gryneos (1431 posts)
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    Period. Full Stop. Point. Whatever It’s Called, It’s Going Out of Style

    Period. Full Stop. Point. Whatever It’s Called, It’s Going Out of Style
    By DAN BILEFSKYJUNE 9, 2016

    LONDON — One of the oldest forms of punctuation may be dying

    The period — the full-stop signal we all learn as children, whose use stretches back at least to the Middle Ages — is gradually being felled in the barrage of instant messaging that has become synonymous with the digital age

    So says David Crystal, who has written more than 100 books on language and is a former master of original pronunciation at Shakespeare’s Globe theater in London — a man who understands the power of tradition in language

    The conspicuous omission of the period in text messages and in instant messaging on social media, he says, is a product of the punctuation-free staccato sentences favored by millennials — and increasingly their elders — a trend fueled by the freewheeling style of Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter

    “We are at a momentous moment in the history of the full stop,” Professor Crystal, an honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Wales, Bangor, said in an interview after he expounded on his view recently at the Hay Festival in Wales

     

    I came across a reference to this article originally as an excerpt in a newsletter magazine called BottomLine Personal, in their “Did you know that…” sidebar section. It continues with:

    “…sentence periods may be on their way out? Text messages and instant messaging on social networks rarely use periods, so the use of the period to end a sentence is dropping.”
    David Crystal, OBE, FBA, FLSW, honorary professor of linguistics, University of Wales, Bangor, quoted in The New York Times.

    When I then found the NYT article, I wasn’t ready to take it seriously with their foregoing of the period, too. However, it was the first quote from the linguistics guy that dropped all semblance of seriousness: “momentous moment”?!

    In this case, I would also recommend reading the comments (although that’s over five hundred at this point.) They’re much more interesting than whatever was the point of this article. I have to agree with one commenter, “Is this The Onion?”

    VoiceOfReason, Babel 17, Enthusiast and 3 othersTheNutcracker, Sherman A1, KarenS like this
    "You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?" "Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..." "You said death first, uh-uh, death first!" "Well, I meant cake!" "Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!" Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill

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18 replies
  • HIP56948 (2315 posts)
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    1. This will be devastating news for William Shatner.

    Spock. You’ve been like. A friend to me. All these. Years.

    • Gryneos (1431 posts)
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      2. Thanks for the morning laugh!

      :hi:

      "You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?" "Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..." "You said death first, uh-uh, death first!" "Well, I meant cake!" "Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!" Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill
  • LiberalElite (4771 posts)
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    3. a young co-worker's emails

    looked like haiku

    he only typed a few

    words in each line

    just like this

    I feel much better since I've given up hope
    • Gryneos (1431 posts)
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      4. Tell him to study haiku

      and then submit all proposals in that format. Subsequently, you can then submit them to the raku kiln

      "You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?" "Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..." "You said death first, uh-uh, death first!" "Well, I meant cake!" "Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!" Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill
  • valerief (694 posts)
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    5. I stopped my periods years ago. Oh, you mean punctuation. Never mind. nt

    traveling pigeon[Votes: if they're not worth counting twice, they're not worth counting at all.] [Everything is fiction.]
    • oldandhappy (3221 posts)
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      6. giggle

    • Bernice Ta (405 posts)
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      7. You so bad!

      Maybe the full stop is dead in texting, but not in literature. I still use them. I’m such a rebel, I even use commas where they’re needed!

      • valerief (694 posts)
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        8. I, too, am a comma queen. I'm a devotee of the serial comma, the Oxford comma,

        and the Harvard comma (all the same thing, of course, but displaying it in action adds so much more impact, doncha think?).

        traveling pigeon[Votes: if they're not worth counting twice, they're not worth counting at all.] [Everything is fiction.]
  • dlegendary1 (919 posts)
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    9. IDK

    Le internet is no substitute 4 proper writing. I SMH on this notion that kids cant punctuate nor spell correctlie. Good writers will always be needed since people still love to read. Plus Ive never used a . when Im speaking shorthnd since the person responds quickly making the point pointless

    • dlegendary1 (919 posts)
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      10. Ya diggg

    • Gryneos (1431 posts)
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      11. I guess things will get to the point where

      even today’s literature (or just general accepted writing styles) will be unreadable by future humans. They won’t understand what all those dots, dots with tails, dots with straight and squiggly lines above them, and stacked dots mean. They’ll have to rely on the AI to read it to them.

      "You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?" "Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..." "You said death first, uh-uh, death first!" "Well, I meant cake!" "Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!" Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill
      • dlegendary1 (919 posts)
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        12. Its kinda like us reading hieroglyphs

  • valerief (694 posts)
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    13. One good thing about this–the debate over "two spaces" or "one space" after

    a period is now moot.

    traveling pigeon[Votes: if they're not worth counting twice, they're not worth counting at all.] [Everything is fiction.]
    • Gryneos (1431 posts)
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      15. No, it's not.

      It still (and rightfully so) shows up as an error to be corrected in MS Word

      "You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?" "Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..." "You said death first, uh-uh, death first!" "Well, I meant cake!" "Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!" Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill
  • Babel 17 (2579 posts)
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    14. The irony of headlines/titles not using a period (Like his, and mine just now)

    So it’s not an absolute rule. ;)

    Though I agree with the sentiment of preserving our language from deriving into doggerel, I’m open to to the idea of freedom of expression having its place in subsets of communication, like that of the one used in instant messages.

    Edit: I’m reminded of Alfred Bester. He had a character that spoke using language like “You pass me by. You leave me rot like a dog. You leave me die, Vorga … Vorga-T:1339. No. I get out of here, me. I follow you, Vorga. I find you, Vorga. I pay you back, me. I rot you. I kill you, Vorga. I kill you filthy.”

    And he also had a scene where he depicts, through the inventive use of parsing out the text, what a multitude of telepaths communicating is like (The Demolished Man).They even weave shapes, as they impress their thoughts into a tapestry. The following only shows a bit of that, I think. Notice how, like in Scrabble, the separate thoughts can share words.

    And another scene where he made groundbreaking use of the printers art to depict the affects of synesthesia. (The Stars My Destination)

    http://ansible.uk/writing/bester.html

    And, lol, Iain M. Banks Feersum Endjinn must be seen to be believed. :)

    Woak up. Got dresd. Had brekfast. Spoke wif Ergates thi ant who sed itz juss been wurk wurk wurk 4 u lately master Bascule, Y dont u ½ a holiday? & I agreed & that woz how we decided we otter go 2 c Mr Zoliparia in thi I-ball ov thi gargoyle Rosbrith.

     

  • LuckyDog (640 posts)
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    16. Great, now can we work on

    using apostrophes properly?

    The Clintons don’t need one unless one of them is possessing something.

    It drives me fucking crazy and is most frequent in the use of “its,” and “it’s.” Don’t people know the rules of grammar and punctuation?  Has no one ever read Strunk & White?  This error is so common that it must be internet fueled, as I only really noticed its (never use an apostrophe with it unless it is a contraction of it is.  An it cannot possess anything, sillies) frequency since the advent of itself.  I try not to abuse the hyphen either.

    Sister Regina Maria would be appalled and would be reaching for the ruler to rap their knuckles, ferchrissakes.  The quote marks always go after the sentence ending punctuation as well.  Just pick up any book.  Fuck, people, doesn’t anyone read books any more?  Let the perverted brits have their quirks, I’ll stick with most of the world’s major publishing houses (and Sister Regina Maria) on this one.

    LD

     

     

    • Gryneos (1431 posts)
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      17. Honestly, my fingers don't always do what my brain commands of them

      Yes, I’m guilty! of not always using an apostrophe where its supposed to go, or not go, unless I am just kidding around online, such as with my grammar-nazi friends And no, I’ve never read Strunk & White. What is it? Yes, I could look it up, but I do not consider Google my friend, unless they start sharing their wealth with me. As you seem to know what it’s, spill it! :-D

      "You! Cake or death?" "Uh, cake for me, too, please." "Very well! Give him cake, too! We're gonna run out of cake at this rate. You! Cake or death?" "Uh, death, please. No, cake! Cake! Cake, sorry. Sorry..." "You said death first, uh-uh, death first!" "Well, I meant cake!" "Oh, all right. You're lucky I'm Church of England!" Eddie Izzard, Dress To Kill
      • LuckyDog (640 posts)
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        18. Sorry, I've been busy and not on the internet, but

        First, do I look like Wikipedia?

        I tease, as that’s a standard reply around our house to either inane questions or when someone is too lazy to look something up themselves.

        Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style has been the gold standard as a writing manual for those wanting to be correct and accurate in their writing.  As far as grammar and punctuation is concerned.  As for other aspects of writing legible prose like content or theme, you’re on your own.  Most serious writing classes include it as core material.  I first came across it in legal training when I was a much younger human being and sought to be trained as a litigation paralegal.  We had to learn legal writing for our jobs on account of attorneys are lazy sons of bitches and will pawn off as much of the work onto underlings like their paralegals.

        I had not taken any writing courses prior to that but my wife, who is a professional writer, had used it starting in high school.  Other such onerous professional tools on a grander scale would include The Chicago Manual of Style.  But I digress as that stuff is really the stuff of the high end of professional writing and I’m not there but my wife has to adhere and I reap the benefits of her experience regarding all things writing.  Sister Regina Maria would approve.

        I provide a link to Amazon’s listing below herein.  You’re welcome!

        Some acclaim for previous editions:

        “Buy it, study it, enjoy it. It’s as timeless as a book can be in our age of volubility.”
        — The New York Times

        “No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume.”
        — The Boston Globe

        “White is one of the best stylists and most lucid minds in this country. What he says and his way of saying it are equally rewarding.”
        — The Wall Street Journal

        “The book remains a nonpareil: direct, correct, and delightful.”
        — The New Yorker

        “. . . Should be the daily companion of anyone who writes for a living, and for that matter, anyone who writes at all.”
        — Greensboro (N.C.) Daily News

        “This excellent book, which should go off to college with every freshman, is recognized as the best book of its kind we have.”
        — St. Paul Dispatch – Pioneer Press

        “It’s hard to imagine an engineer or a manager who doesn’t need to express himself in English prose as part of his job. It’s also hard to imagine a writer who will not be improved by a liberal application of The Elements of Style.”
        — Telephone Engineer & Management

        Read more

        https://www.amazon.com/Elements-Style-Fourth-William-Strunk/dp/020530902X

         

        Hands off my Social Security!

        Hands off Latin America!

        LD

         

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