MOP reader Arsin Halfmoon recently wrote to us with an unexpected story. He’s an English teacher in the real world, but far from being a grammar stickler, he’s actually found himself incredibly uncomfortable when people over-embellish their chat with punctuation. He told us that he considers gaming a non-academic setting, a casual, social space, so when a new friend of his uses periods every every single sentence when typing in an MMORPG, it bothers him.
“It feels like they come off with an air of I’m better than you because I type with periods,” he explained. “I’m not condoning abandonment of grammar. If I were making longer explanations in chat, then yes, I would use periods to separate my sentences. But I think we need to recognize that the MMO space has a specific code, and from what I’ve seen, writing a period at the end of short, single sentence entries or single words is meant for dramatic effect” — not for casual chit-chat between pulls.
Even though I’m MOP’s resident grammar geek, I completely empathize with Arsin. My guildies and fellow writers will attest that while I insist on pronoun/antecedent agreement and despise errant commas here on the site, I type quickly and sloppily in chat, with little regard for the rules that govern my professional writing — and I definitely don’t waste clicks on periods or caps or semicolons most of the time.
How judgmental are you about MMO chat grammar? Let’s take it to the Leaderboard polls with a multi-answer poll.
How judgmental are you about MMO chat grammar?
- I don't care at all how people type as long as I can understand what's being said. (27%, 111 Votes)
- It bugs me when people get too fancy with syntax, grammar, or punctuation. (5%, 20 Votes)
- It bugs me when people are lazy about how they communicate. (27%, 114 Votes)
- But seriously, leetspeak hasn't been cool in like 15 years. (22%, 91 Votes)
- I am a total grammar zealot, to the point of correcting people in-game. (4%, 15 Votes)
- I have literally sent in bug reports correcting the game UI's grammar. (10%, 42 Votes)
- Semi-colon line breaks in SWG messed me up for life. (1%, 5 Votes)
- BRB looking up 'antecedent.' (2%, 10 Votes)
- No opinion / I can't read / what's chat. (2%, 7 Votes)
Total Voters: 289