[M.M.X.I.V. 339] Period

There are several ways that this post could go, as the word “period” has quite a few different denotations.  Well, since this post will be G-rated, it’s not referring to menstruation.  It’s not directly related to school either (well, maybe in a way).  And although I work with periodic boundary conditions in my research, I won’t bore you with those details.

Instead, it’s about the seemingly-innocuous dot at the end of sentences!

NOTE: This is an Audio-Optional Post.  The post is transcribed at the end in a YouTube video.

Based off a column from Mary Schmich on October 31, 2014, I will try an experiment

It is something that I am not going to like, as I consider myself one of The Sticklers

Plus, the “signal of no further thought or discussion” is a cue on which I do not pick up in texts

Frankly, I find poor grammar to be a worse signal in texts than a period

However, it may be partially a socialization effect, as I am an infrequent texter

(OK, this is getting a little annoying–let me shift to a different way of ending the sentences instead of a line break…)

From a random sample of texts, I will give some examples of what I have sent and received STOP

(M.) “Did you see Bo was fired?”

(Noah) “I did not [yet see that Bo was fired].  Hope this is not 2003 all over again.”

(M.) “Remind me what happened in 2003”

(Noah) “Solich was canned after a 9-3 season, and the next coach had 2 losing seasons in 4 years.”

(M.) “And are u glad he was fired or not”

(Noah) “Ambivalent, but I think it should have waited until after the bowl.”


(Additionally, all of my texts have the signature “~Noah” at the end STOP Ergo I can send a “blank” message if I hit Send twice STOP)

Text conversations with my Dad are a strange commodity STOP Sometimes he is direct, but oftentimes he texts in strange ways STOP Here is the text conversation with him when he was at the Nebraska/Northwestern volleyball match earlier in the year STOP Comments in brackets were not part of the actual texts STOP

(Dad) “Go cats”

(Noah) “Are you there?”

(Noah) “Id est, at BOB?” [the Bob Devaney Sports Center]

(Dad) “Do u know player wearing 1? Mom and I are both bobbing”

(Noah) “Taylor Tashima. She is a freshman, and I have not”

(Noah) [Inadvertent “blank” message]

(Noah) “Formally introduced myself.”

(Dad) “U need 2. She is gorgeous :)”

(Dad [later]) “Tell me about coaches..do they know u?”

(Noah) “They all do, as far as I know.”

(Dad) “Incredible point” [a well-played back-and-forth point in the volleyball match]

(Noah) “I am listening!”

(Dad) “2days” [i.e. it was 2 days before they would come to Chicago for the football game.]

(Noah) “Almost exactly!”


However, as is customary, Personality Tests are more of a spectrum than a discrete set STOP  Let me briefly summarize the types mentioned by Schmich and how I fit or do not fit into them STOP

(I will also go back to regular punctuation since using line breaks or STOPs are not my type of communication!)

Of the personalities given, I am most like The Stickler.  When I text, I use complete sentences, and use abbreviations sparingly.  I will not use “u” for “you,” or “r” for “are,” for example.  I was not an English major in college, but I do believe that proper punctuation is important.  The biggest factor that makes me fail The Stickler’s criteria: I am only 27 years old!

The Slacker?  Hardly.  From Schmich’s column, it describes younger people that slack… probably those that use texting more for long conversations with back-and-forth.  In that case, it makes more sense why they might see the period as a confrontational or “end-of-discussion” mark.  Of course, I strongly prefer to hold conversations by voice rather than by text, so I do not expect myself to fall into the Slacker category, other than the fact that I will have a foot in the category for twelve and a half more years (“You are under 40.  Or you have teenage children.”)

The Young Counterculturist?  This also fits into my texting personality quite well.  By far, I am the person among my siblings who sends the fewest text messages.  I much prefer to call people on the phone when wanting to have a conversation, particularly if logistics are involved.  There has been at least one time where my text got interpreted in a tone of confrontation, when I intended it only as information.

Perhaps part of the reason why I don’t text often is that I am not in good-regular contact with my friends–weekly means that I am doing well, whereas hourly or at-worst daily is probably more common for other people.

Maybe this whole conversation really makes me an Evolutionist.  Though I take pride in proper grammar in my text messages, I know that others may not read too much into it.  Sometimes, however, I feel that text messages between two people will eventually reach a happy medium in terms of grammar, use of shortcuts, etc.  It’s a socialization thing!

In fact, given my propensity for preferring conversation, and inspired by Alienora’s post yesterday, I’m going to transcribe this into a YouTube video that you can watch!


Today is the three-hundred and thirty-ninth day of M.M.X.I.V.  That makes forty-eight weeks and three days.

Today is the three-hundred and forty-first day of Mission 441.  One hundred days remain.

(hope this works!  It was giving me grief with processing.)


2 thoughts on “[M.M.X.I.V. 339] Period

  1. This was fascinating, Noah – and really uncomfortable for me, too, because, like you, I am a stickler! Those sentences without full stops made me feel uneasy. Great to have both the written and the oral records of it. I love the liveliness and little laughs in the video.


    • Thanks, Ali! I think that the uneasiness mirrors the art of conversation, since sometimes conversations flow like streams of consciousness, sans punctuation. Still, I have a standard for when I see something written, even if it is meant to mimic a conversation which will likely violate all the grammatical rules!


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