5-speed listening (Full Stop - Level 3)

Full stop seen as rude in text messages



Medium (British English)

Medium (N. American English)



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A language expert says using a full stop to end sentences in text messages can look rude. A full stop is used in British English; in American English, this punctuation mark is called a period. Linguist Gretchen McCulloch says more and more people think ending messages with a full stop is rude. She said this view is most common in younger people who use instant messaging apps like Twitter and Facebook Messenger. Ms McCulloch said people prefer to send a completely new message instead of ending a sentence with a full stop. She said: "If you're a young person and you're sending a message to someone, the default way to break up your thoughts is to send each thought as a new message."

The full stop dates back around 2,300 years. It is an essential part of writing today. School teachers can put lots of comments in red ink on a student's writing if that student forgets to add the full stop at the end of his or her sentence. However, technology is changing the way we write. Most people now use abbreviations or acronyms in text messages. They might use the acronym 'LOL' instead of writing 'laugh out loud,' or the abbreviation 'fyi' rather than typing 'for your information'. Ms McCulloch says not using the full stop helps the writer save time. She also says that a full stop can make the writer look a little aggressive. Many people prefer to end a sentence with an emoji or emoticon instead of a full stop :-)

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