People of a certain age were trained to use exclamation points to indicate excitement or even anger. And they never imagined that a simple period at the end of a sentence could get them into hot water.
But the social-media age has twisted the meanings of some of our most basic words and punctuation marks, reveals Wired magazine’s resident linguist Gretchen McCulloch in her new book, “Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language” (Riverhead), out July 23.
In our current world, periods are now seen as aggressive, and a cartoon of a smelly poo is considered perfectly acceptable communication.While some might feel baffled by these new forms of internet expression, McCulloch thinks they’re “fantastic.”
“I’d gladly accept the decline of standards that were arbitrary and elitist in the first place,” she writes, “in favor of being able to better connect with my fellow human beings.”