The Internet and English Language

The most obvious novelties [of the Internet’s influence on English] relate to the use of punctuation to mark constructions, where many of the traditional rules have been adapted as users explore the graphic opportunities offered by the new medium. We see a new minimalism, with marks such as commas and full stops omitted; and a new maximalism, with repeated use of marks as emotional signals (fantastic!!!!!!). We see some marks taking on different semantic values, as when a full stop adds a note of abruptness or confrontation in a previously unpunctuated chat exchange. And we see symbols such as emoticons and emojis replacing whole sentences, or acting as a commentary on sentences – OUP blog

I have definitely noticed an increase in my use of exclamation marks when writing messages or texts; not as a way to convey anything particularly exclamatory but more as a way to convey that I’m not being too serious.

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