How Can You Judge a Person’s Character Based on Their Punctuation?

Words Written on the Woman's Face

Texting and writing are now a huge part of our lives, as we type messages, emails, and tweets almost non-stop. Attempts to link the use of punctuation marks with your personality type could be found all over the internet. Of course, there is little scientific substance in these articles. However, they highlight one fascinating idea that no matter who you are or what you do for a living – you are likely to abuse at least one punctuation mark.

 When it comes to writing an essay, CV, blog post, or a work letter, abusing or misusing punctuation marks will not add to your reputation. That is why using a punctuating checking software like ProWritingAid will cover your back when you need it most.

 So what exactly does the use of punctuation marks say about your personality? Well, the answer to this question is ‘at least something’. In this article, we will not be talking about handwriting, we will focus on the most popular punctuation marks used in the English language.

Ah, the comma, one of the most used and misused punctuation marks out there. If you use it too often, you just can’t get enough understanding or information from sentences. Commas are used the break up long sentences and create space, without them, sentences can feel too heavy or inconsiderate. Also, putting the final comma in a list of things will show everybody how much you care about your grammar and how good it is.

 Period (.)

Once, the mark of a complete thought, the period now feels aggressive and can indicate that you are unhappy. Still, you may just wish to be clear and decisive and believe that using the period will do the job. Try to use other punctuation marks for the receiver of your message to have no reason to suspect that something is wrong.

 Exclamation point (!)

The frequent use of this punctuation mark means that you may be angry, anxious, or excitable. People who see these in your messages too often may think that you are quite self-centred and believe that your opinion always matters. The abusive use of exclamation points probably means that you get nervous easily and are overly affectionate. However, you are still fun at parties!

 Question mark (?)

Much unlike exclamation point abusers, those who overuse the question mark are likely to be uncertain and indecisive. These individuals are usually shy and lack self-esteem. Alternatively, if your messages are full of question marks, you might just love asking questions. If this is true, then you are a person who analyses things with curiosity and tries to get to know this world better.

 Colon (:)

Adam J. Calhoun says that the colon has nearly disappeared from novelists’ works over the last two decades. Perhaps, this is because the colon is the only punctuation mark that shares its name with not the most attractive part of your body. Jokes aside, if you use this punctuation mark too often, the odds are that you are a much-organised person who likes order. And you like making big lists.

 Semi-colon (;)

If you knew where the semi-colon was on the keyboard before it became an emoticon, you are likely to be a well-read person who might even read a book or two by some German philosophers. You are organised and can fall into any kind of conversation quite easily. People tend to like you and be comfortable around you, though it may be difficult for them to say exactly why.

 Ellipsis (…)

People may feel annoyed if you overuse ellipses because they may perceive your punctuation style to show a lack of assertiveness and directness. With that being said, those who overuse the ellipsis could easily be sensitive, friendly, and thoughtful persons. Perhaps, you just pay close attention to what you say and select your words carefully. Either way, the ellipsis acknowledges that there is always the possibility of further nattering and deeper contemplation.

 Parentheses (())

Apart from the emoticons, we all use parentheses quite often. What can they say about your personality? Perhaps, that you are a meticulous person who thinks that every detail matters. Or it can indicate that you are a little too self-confident, as you can afford information that is not even needed in your message. People who abuse parentheses tend to bore others with their stories overcrowded with unnecessary details and explanations.

 Quotation marks (“”)

Originality is not your forte if you abuse the quotation marks in your sentences. Referring to others’ sayings does not add anything of substance to your own messages. Alternatively, using these may indicate that you like accuracy and respect other people’s ‘intellectual property’. As long as you do not make quotation marks with your fingers when you chat with your peers, you are fine.

 At symbol (@)

Sure, this is not a punctuation mark and all but we are on the internet, you know! Punctuation in the online environment is a whole different thing. If you use this symbol a lot in your messages, you are likely to be very social, sometimes a little too much. These kinds of people always have to take a phone call or answer some messages in the middle of a conversation. Such behaviour could be viewed by those who you don’t know well as strange to say the very least.

 Hash (#)

Just like the @ type, those who tend to overuse the hash mark tend to spend way too much time on the internet and social media platforms like Twitter. The main difference, however, is that you are likely to have few friends in real life and can be quite reclusive, making strong connections with people online.

While using punctuation marks too much could probably tell something about your personality, it’s your right to use them as you see fit. After all, who can blame you? Remember that this article is totally made up and it has no scientific underpinning whatsoever. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you find out you are a punctuation abuser!

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a seasoned professional with a strong background in growth strategies and editorial responsibilities. Kokou has been instrumental in driving companies' expansion and fortifying their market presence. His academic credentials underscore his expertise; having studied Communication at the Università degli Studi di Siena (Italy), he later honed his skills in growth hacking at the Growth Tribe Academy (Amsterdam).


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