Twenty years ago today, the first ever text was sent by a 22-year-old engineer working at an English telecom company who was testing out the software. The text read “Merry Christmas.” I know, it is a weird text—it doesn’t even have any Emojis in it! And it’s so not non-denominational. Very dated.
Also, you’re not supposed to put a period at the end of a text like that. It comes off as like kind of terse and less like, “I casually want this conversation to keep flowing.” I know this because a friend of mine once exclaimed, “Did you feel the need to put a period?!?” when she asked to see the text I sent some boy, and when I was like,”What? Why is good punctuation bad?” she acted as if I was being slow.
And I was being slow. Because texting is a whole new language that our generation contends with, where periods, exclamation points (and their quantity), question marks, and semicolons followed by open parentheses all mean very intricate and subtle things that you can’t even really get at in normal conversation. Continue Reading