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Why Grammar Should Matter To You

Communication
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A recent article in The Wall Street  Journal pointed out the importance of using correct grammar in your online dating profile. According to surveys done in recent years by dating websites OkCupid and Match.com, grammar is by far one of the most important aspects of an online dating profile. If you mix up “your” and “you’re,” many daters will move on to the next.

But why is this? Aren’t people more concerned with great photos, as we’ve seen with apps like Tinder and Grindr? Why should online daters care about how people write – it isn’t necessarily an indication of who they are in real life or how great a match they would be. Besides, aren’t most daters attracted to physical appearances rather than writing style?

Apparently not. Match.com found that 88% of women and 75% of men in their survey of 5,000 singles said they cared about grammar most, putting it ahead of a person’s confidence and teeth.

The WSJ attributed this trend to the rise of dating apps and the common use of text slang, with abbreviations like YOLO (You only Live Once) replacing standard phrasing and sentences. While messaging has now become more of a convenience than an art, grammar has fallen by the wayside, and one way to make yourself stand out among the millions of other daters out there is to approach communicating with someone as though you put in some effort. After all, most dating apps don’t require much more effort than a swipe.

In other words, think about your professional life and how much time and care you put in to communication with your bosses and co-workers. When you send an email to a group of work colleagues, chances are you spell-checked it before pressing the “send” key, and most likely it isn’t filled with acronyms for every common phrase. If you apply the same protocol to online dating, it might seem a bit formal at first, but it definitely scores you more points. The person receiving your message is more likely to take you seriously because it looks like you have put in more time and effort.

In other words, you come across as smart and caring. Thoughtfulness goes a long way.

Grammar has been important in the online dating scene for a while, even before the popularity of texting and dating apps made bad grammar much more common. Dating websites like Match and eHarmony encouraged users to use complete sentences in their profiles and check for spelling errors. Wouldn’t you be turned off if someone you didn’t know turned in a report or emailed you with a couple of brief sentences, rife with misspellings?

A little effort goes a long way.