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!
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.