Punctuating text messages with speaker tags in running copy
Punctuation (and spelling and capitalization) in text messages is different from punctuation in other forms of written communication (emails, memos, standard prose).
In particular, punctuation, or sometimes the lack of it, in text messaging adds layers of meaning. Texts can be close to a live transcript of speech, so more characters are needed to replicate the rhythms and tones of speech.
Person A texts Person B, saying:
do you want to get dinner tonight at that new Thai place which just opened?
If Person B responds
we could do that
it means something different from
we could do that.
The closing period in a text can add a negative nuance: a downward tone, a reluctance. (An exclamation point would mean excitement, as is more typical.)
So here's my question: Let's say I'm including texting in my story. Let's also say that I don't have access to many different kinds of formatting (like the block text here on SE).
If I'm writing most kinds of dialogue, and I have speaker tags, I use a comma to connect the dialogue and the tag:
"We could do that," she answered.
But if I'm trying to show a text message, I want to indicate that there's no closing punctuation:
we could do that she answered.
and dang, that looks dreadful.
Putting the speaker tag in front means it looks like I forgot to end the sentence:
She answered we could do that
And you do need tags occasionally so the reader knows who is texting.
How do I address this punctuation collision?