RUSSELL | On Texting

She wiggled her fingers through a clump of hair and pursed her lips. “It’s not like that.”

“What’s it like then?”

“He’s just…”

“Don’t ask any questions, just answer his.”

When you spend your Tuesday evenings “studying” at Starbucks, you grow so accustomed to eavesdropping on these types of conversations you forget you’re doing it. This time, I sat on a high up wooden stool, following intently as a pair of friends went back and forth about proper etiquette when texting a guy who quite clearly isn’t “the one.”

You don’t need an Ivy League education to ascertain that texting is a lot more complicated than it should be. When I get a late night iMessage from a friend I can only wonder whether it’s the result of a brainstorming session with a panel of trusted advisors or a drunk whim from Hideaway. But that’s the beauty of it.

SUSSER | Texting Etiquette

 The English language is brimming with obscure and unique grammar rules. It can be confusing to decide when and where to use a comma, whether to use an em dash or parenthesis — I always opt for the em dash — or even when a sentence is beginning to run-on. Having students learn to write in a concise, grammatically correct manner is clearly a priority for Cornell; we all plodded through two semesters of burdensome, time-consuming writing seminars as freshmen, or, like Intro to Bowling, possibly put it off until senior year. But within the texting universe, it seems like there is an unspoken etiquette. That is not to say that each “texter” doesn’t havetheir own unique, idiosyncratic set of tendencies, which can ultimately be reflective of their personality (or how they want others to perceive them).