Millennials have a point about 'offensive' full stops, says Susie Dent

The Countdown star agrees that the punctuation mark can be aggressive and indicate resentment in text conversations

Ms Dent said she came up with the example of a text conversation about a job opportunity as an illustration. She said: "If I was to text you and say, 'Stephen, I have a new job', you could reply with 'great!' (exclamation mark), or you could reply with 'great.' (full stop).'

"It (the full stop) definitely indicates resentment or being underwhelmed." Fry agreed a full stop could appear to "close the conversation" and therefore be interpreted as rude. Linguists claim the full stop has become a sign of passive aggression as millennials interpret it as the abrupt end to a text.

The Telegraph values your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Chris Snuggs: They'd have to rewrite "Treasure Island", no? After all, a full stop is a black spot. Actually, you can't use "black" either, so you'd need to change it to: "I've been given the spot"

Daisy Chayne: If a column generates lots of comments the journalist will get lots of Brownie points. It's like the BBC Complaints Dept: the more complaints the BBC gets the more they they know they are being successful at upsetting the "right".

Soy Sauce: Glad I read this, I have never bothered that much with punctuation in text messages but lax no more! Now I know the devastating effect that full stops have on Millennials I shall be scrupulous forevermore...

Mo Ronic: Pls avoyde words such as "scrupulous" - there to long and posh and we millionals have to wayste preshus life thyme looking them up

Wanda Roff: Millennials need to come into the real world and stop getting upset about so many things. As with all snowflakes, they need to be told "NO."

Percy Stent: Stereotyping: No more bowler hats and rolled umbrellas for an Englishman. No striped jumpers and onions to depict Frenchmen. No "roast beef" No snails or spaghetti to depict foreigners. BBC should apologise for “Allo, Allo”.

Chris Snuggs: Yes - It's "Goodbye, Goodbye" to "Allo, Allo" - pls note the absence of a full-stop
(Am I allowed to WRITE it out in full ???? This is giving me sleepless nights)

Hugh Gwunn: I dread to think what they make of an ellipsis...

Chris Snuggs: They probably think it is a hideous illness .......

May Beknott: According to last week’s “New Scientist”, about 10 million viruses could fit onto a single full stop. Now that's an interesting fact about full stops.

Chris Snuggs: Does that mean if we stop using full-stops we eliminate 10,000,000 viruses each time? GO FOR IT!

Phil. Anthropist: How relieved the Bletchley Park people must have been that the German messages didn't use full stops; imagine the horror if they had.

I am wondering how my sending a text: "You are a complete wan*er" would be made more offensive if I sent "You are a complete wan*er."

Ben Dover: How about;

1) "I'm helping your Uncle Jack off his horse:"
2) "I'm helping your uncle jack off his horse."

Maida Mess: It would appear being taught the punctuation required in the English language is now a crime.How far this country has fallen.

Soy Sauce: Yes, Maida, and never forget that spelling properly is all part of an elitist, patriarchal plot to oppress the masses who should be allowed to spell the way words sound rather than how they are written.

James T Kirk: I suppose capital letters at the start are aggressive and violent too which would make sense as my phone puts them in automatically after the fascist, racist, slave-owning full stop ...

Chris Snuggs: Wokeists are even as I write scouring the land for statues with offensive full-stops to smash up ....

Semi-colons have to go, too: they are a symbol of excessive poshness and most likely the result of a white-privileged private education, since no self-respecting member of the benefits class would ever use one.

Haile Dowteful: While we're at it why not change Black Friday to Friday of Colour?

Chris Snuggs: What about "OnceBlack Friday"? or perhaps: "NotBlack Friday".

My preference would be for "***** Friday".

Apologies for the full-stop - put it in automatically by force of habit, But no worries; we old folk will die out soon and England can return to the fullstopless world our children long for - in the EU of course after the re-referendum.

Robin Banks: Oh. No. I'm in a comma.

Chris Snuggs: I need a colonectomy ......

Theresa Green: I wouldn't mind if we millennials bothered to use punctuation at all we can write long rambling sentences without putting in full stops commas exclamation marks or anything else its ridiculous why don't they teach us these things before we leave junior school so that when we reach university people dont think were thick help please

Bjorn Dumm: Primary schools, at least in Wales, do not teach; it is a learning community where the students do their learning with their consent, in a benign atmosphere. ‘Teach’ is far too aggressive a word and implies coercion and control.

Arthur Brayne: There are a lot of full stops in the article above. However, I managed to read it without shedding a tear.

Chris Snuggs: The full-stop closes a single utterance - not a conversation. GFN does that (Goodbye For Now)

Jane Doe: Text messages lack the social signals of in-person conversation, so the young find subtle ways to convey emotions. Makes perfect sense. This old fart reactionism to virtually everything young people do is rather sad.

Chris Snuggs: Great! - Great? - Great - great! - great? - great -

Choose your acceptable word ...

You miss the point entirely - which is that Millennials having a hissy-fit about this given the world's problems is surreally moronic.

- poverty
- GW and global starvation as coastal cities flood and crops fry
- death from lack of water
- mass migration of millions of starving humans
- the death of bees and the end of fruit
- the pollution of the oceans and the end of fishing
- warsand/or takeover by ISLAM
- idiot governments everywhere
- the coming WWIII started by either China or Iran - or Israel pre-empting an Iranian nuclear attack
- NK dropping an H-bomb on Tokyo
- PC and WOKE lunacy
- the VAST increase in "racism" thanks to the fascist BLM lunacy and idiot wokeism
- the abandonment of REASON - and any education in any proper sense of the word
- COVID 20, 21, 22 etc
- the end of antibiotic effectiveness through over and misuse
- NWO World Domination and the coming Age of Orwell's "Brave New World"

Per Haps: Personally, I find the incorrect use of the apostrophe deeply distressing, traumatising even.

Chris Snuggs: Yes. its reely bad. The apostrophe has lost it's point.

Maureen O'Potty: Is there no limit to what is now being discovered to be offensive?

Chris Snuggs: The answer to your question is "No, there isn't." Actually. I find your question about offensiveness being trivialised offensive. It implies I have no right to be offended. It's all about rights. You, of course, have every right to totally ignore my offendedness (and indeed to be offended by it) and to categorize me as a sub-moron. I can take it - actually, I am used to it ...