We all witness terrible crimes against grammar. The amount of them rises with the rise of social media. Seems that the online dating world has become a sort of a battleground. Grammar snobbery is a thing, and it’s escalating very quickly.
“Grammar snobbery is one of the last permissible prejudices,” says John McWhorter, a linguistics professor at Columbia University. “The energy that used to go into open classism and racism now goes into disparaging people’s grammar.”
Dating site Match asked 5,000 singles in the U.S. about the criteria they use when setting up dates. 96% women valued personal hygiene most, so did 91% of men, but the second criteria for both sexes were: proper grammar.
The survey found 88% of women and 75% of men said they cared about grammar most, putting it ahead of a person’s confidence and teeth.
“When you get a message that is grammatically correct and has a voice and is put together, it is very attractive, it definitely adds hotness points,” says New Yorker Grace Gold. “People who send me text-type messages, and horrific grammatical errors? I just delete them.”
Language has always been one of the most common things according to which people judge other people, but in recent years, with an incredible increase of informal and colloquial usage, it has become amplified, according to Ben Zimmer, a lexicographer and chair of the New Word Committee of the American Dialect Society. He also writes a column about language for The Wall Street Journal.
“Before, we just heard informal language in spoken contexts, but now it surrounds us all the time” on email, text, instant message and social media, he says. “Whenever there are enough young people using language in a new way, you get hand-wringing about how language is falling apart. We saw it in the ’20s, then the ’50s, and we see this cycle happening again.”
The truth is judging people by their grammar is not ungrounded. Let’s say a guy writes his entire bio in lower cases, without particularly caring about full stops or commas. Let’s say a woman who values proper grammar sees his profile and scratches him because of it right away. Why would she do that?
Sloppy writing means you haven’t given any effort to your bio. You haven’t given any effort to present yourself to women on a dating site. This tells the woman you won’t be putting an effort into a relationship either. And no one likes that.
Check your dating profile, check your grammar. Your soulmate might be a grammar nazi.
Source: The Wall Street Journal