I'm sure everyone has seen this phrase at the bottom of many e-mail messages. My question is about the combination of punctuation and capitalization.

The capitalization of the first word makes me think this phrase was intended to be a complete sentence, but when we get to the end, there's no period, as you might expect when reading a mere fragment.

Is this widely considered wrong? It feels they are half in the water and half out.

  • 5
    Aren't we showing some tetrapyloctomy here? – CesarGon Aug 12 '11 at 1:46
  • 7
    @CesarGon: I learned a new word today! – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Aug 12 '11 at 2:11
  • 3
    I don't understand what is wrong with this question. – I. J. Kennedy Sep 16 '11 at 4:26
  • Minus eight and still an open question? I am uncertain of the problem here, actually, like I. J. Kennedy inquired. I don't have a cell phone (yet) and often forget if one should use 'iPhone' or 'IPhone', even though I see that pithy little fragment, such as it is, 'Sent from my iPhone', running across the bottom of email messages! – Ellie Kesselman Dec 28 '11 at 18:50

The phrase Sent from my iPhone is a sentence fragment. It is capitalized, as other lonely sentence fragments are. I think of it as a "P.S." after a letter, telling the recipient from where the message was transmitted. The fact that it doesn't have a period matches this.

However, I don't think that it makes much of a difference how this phrase is capitalized or punctuated. It is used as a tagline at the end of messages, and it gets its point across as such.

| improve this answer | |

This is an example of the telegraphic style of writing. You see it a lot on signs, and this message is an advertising message, which is a kind of signage. You don't see periods on stop signs, do you?

Other signs:


| improve this answer | |
  • I think it's no coincidence that all those signs use all-caps. These phrases are not trying to be sentences. Nevertheless, thanks for your answer; I like the term telegraphic. – I. J. Kennedy Aug 16 '11 at 23:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.