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The poor mom or dad doesn’t understand one of the cardinal rules of texting, which is that you don’t use periods, period.
But in spoken language, pauses are often stylistic, and the pauses don’t always line up with the grammar of what we’re saying.
For instance, consider the following run-on sentence: This is a non-grammatical use of the comma, but it conveys something important. When we get excited, the pauses between our sentences shrink. There are ways of notating this with modern punctuation.
But the punctus was much more versatile than anything we have in modern written English.
Scribes would liberally sprinkle punctus marks onto a sentence if they felt they would help readers understand better.
Early Greek and Latin texts often lacked any kind of punctuation. Scholars would mark down wherever they thought it would be good for the reader to take a breath, or to adjust the tone of their voice.
The period, meanwhile, has become the evil twin of the exclamation point.
Putting in a hyphen — “The medium-green car” — eliminates that confusion.
In natural speech, we would distinguish between the two meaning by adding subtle pauses in different places.
The period is no longer how we finish our sentences.
In texts and online chats, it has been replaced by the simple line break.