Be Careful About Your Punctuation and Emoticons

A piece by Jessica Bennett in today’s New York Times is part of a growing body of evidence regarding the role of punctuation and emoticons in modern digital communications. Some of the ideas discussed in the piece such as the observation that  “women are more likely than men to use emotive punctuation” or that “digital punctuation can carry more weight than traditional writing because it ends up conveying tone, rhythm and attitude rather than grammatical structure” are not new, but the piece brings together some of the notable considerations in an informative, readable and enjoyable manner.

If nothing else, Bennett rams home the growing importance of such matters via the opening sentence of the piece: “I went out with a guy based on his use of dashes once. Within moments of our first interaction — over text message — I was basically in love.”.