No Period

A trend piece in the the New York Times on Friday touched on this fascinating development — which, incidentally, has been brewing for at least two decades, ever since kids were logging onto AOL Instant Messenger. The period is no longer how we finish our sentences. In texts and online chats, it has been replaced by the simple line break.

You just hit send

Your words end up on a new line

a visual indication

that you have started

a new sentence,



or unit of meaning

Of course, this practice far predates the instant message. Poets have been using line breaks for basically forever. (In the right light, you might even say a text conversation has some of the same exuberant, associative, overlapping qualities of say, an e. e. cummings poem.) But we can credit the text and the IM for making the line break the default method of  punctuation in the 21st century. / The Washington Post

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