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“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.” She recalls the red flag raised by one potential suitor who had written his entire dating profile in lowercase.
“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.” One reason people judge grammar and spelling snafus so harshly is that they can reflect the level of effort, or lack thereof, that folks put into their bio.
“People use quality of writing as an indication of work ethic,” says Max Lytvyn, co-founder of automated-proofreading company Grammarly.
When Jeff Cohen was getting ready to meet his Ok Cupid date for drinks in Manhattan, he started to have second thoughts as he reread the glaring grammatical error in her last message: “I will see you their.” The date flopped for a couple of reasons, but bad grammar bothers Mr. Learning a potential mate doesn’t know the difference between “there,” “they’re” and “their” is like discovering she loves cats, he says. With crimes against grammar rising in the age of social media, some people are beginning to take action. For love, these folks say written communications matter, from the correct use of semicolons, to understanding the difference between its and it’s, and sentences built on proper parallel construction.