Grammar in the News: Even toddlers know basic grammar

According to new research at Stanford University, children as young as 24 months pick up a lot of grammar basics. Previous research has shown they are able to use articles, such as "a" and "the," early and correctly. But it's not certain whether toddlers are imitating adults are truly understand the differences. Researchers argue whether such grammar development is innate or learned. More research is needed.

There will be an app for that. Matthew Frank, associate professor of psychology at Stanford University, and his colleagues are developing an online database, Wordbank, to gather data on children's vocabulary and early language development. Frank is also collaborating on a smartphone app to collect early vocabulary data from parents.

“It’s going to take a tremendous amount of data to study this problem and build enough evidence for how children learn language,” Frank is reported as saying in a recent Stanford University article. “We’re hoping that once we have those data, we can get a clearer picture of children’s early learning.”

Read why perfect grammar doesn't just look good on paper

When I set up my online dating profile years ago, a friend of mine called me an elitist for stating I would not correspond with someone who used bad grammar. And after months of ignoring messages with misspellings and misuses of homophones, I began to wonder if she was right. Thanks to two new studies, however, I've learned that I'm not the only one who squirms when asked "How U doin?" (especially when the sender looks nothing like Joey Tribbiani) or told "Luv two meet U."

Sensitivity to spelling errors and grammatical mistakes appear to be common for those with my personality type. According to The Guardian writer David Shariatmadari, "Introverts, it turns out, are more likely to get annoyed at both typos and grammos." Grammos, he explained in a recent article, are "errors involving knowledge of the rules of language." In the same article, Shariatmadari details the findings of a study done by linguists Julie Boland and Robin Queen.

For the study, eighty Americans from different backgrounds, genders, and ages were asked to react to emails responding to an ad for a roommate---some with errors and some written perfectly. They then had to fill out questionnaires on their personalities. The findings revealed that the introverts and conscientious people saw typos as a problem and scored the emails with errors as those coming from potentially bad roommates.

But us introverts aren't the only ones who don't want to cohabitate with error-rich writers. According to a survey done by dating site Zoosk, grammar is also incredibly important to millennials in digital dating. As explained in a Salon article about the Zoosk survey, "People don't want to share their thoughts with someone who can't articulate theirs." Many surveyed related had grammar to laziness and apathy, and I agree. Always make the effort!

While a good profile picture enhances how a person is perceived by prospects, how they communicate digitally is just as indicative when it comes to attractiveness.
— Erin Coulehan, Salon

Although I am currently not seeking a roommate and have deactivated my dating profile, it's nice to know that I'm not so elite in my desire for well-written communication no matter the medium. And somewhere out there, I hope my future husband and one day permanent housemate os taking note with a copy of Strunk's Elements of Style in hand.

What National Grammar Day can teach you about kicking bad habits

Happy National Grammar Day.jpg

March 4 is like New Year's Day. Several weeks ago, we welcomed in 2016 with laundry lists of resolutions, goals, and declarations, all while unloading our bank accounts for gym memberships and Hello Fresh subscriptions. And while many have already given up, fallen back into old habits, become MIA at 5:30 a.m. spin class, and grown stale to the idea of fresh produce delivery (although my father continues to rave about his subscription); there's still hope. Start anew this National Grammar Day. Pledge to speak better, write better, and overall, communicate better.

Purple Inked wants to help. For March 4 only, all services scheduled will be 50 percent off. This means you can start off right with that email, press release, pitch letter, blog post, or manuscript, and save a bundle.

In addition to getting professional editing and writing assistance from Purple Inked, here are several activities you can do throughout the year to improve:

Starting today, vow to improve your grammar with these tips and Purple Inked.