National Grammar Day is on Friday, March 4th. When it comes to matters of the heart, how do you stack up in the vast digital playground? Do you know the difference between "their" and "there?" Does it even matter?
Proper grammar is one of the most important aspects for singles on online dating sites and mobile apps. Did you know that nearly half of singles consider poor spelling and grammar to be a huge deal breaker?
Before you add in that extra emoticon, here are a few studies to help you find love online and IRL.
According to a recent study by Zoosk, a majority of singles (72%) are turned off by blatant spelling errors, and nearly 1/4 think poor grammar means you're chatting with someone who is uneducated or not so smart. As far as punctuation goes, of the 9,441 respondents to the Zoosk survey, 93% of singles would be happy if they received a text message with proper punctuation.
The study also found that response rates for opening messages sent with an exclamation point are 10% higher than average!
Separately, eHarmony teamed up with Grammarly, the world's leading online proofreader, to conduct a grammar study to analyze poor grammar in dating profiles. After looking at 10,000 profiles from both men and women, Grammarly found that women make almost twice as many grammatical errors per every 100 words than men do, but are less likely to be judged by men for their grammatical errors.
As little as two spelling errors on a profile can reduce a guy's chance of getting a response by 14%, but women's spelling and grammar errors didn't have an impact on their chances at a response at all.
Here are a few tips on how to clean up your online dating profile and communication so that you won't experience any grammar faux pas that could get in the way of attracting a digital crush.
1. Use Exclamation Points!
As found in the Zoosk study, using an exclamation point can increase your chances of getting a response. Try "Hi Stacy!" instead of "Hi Stacy..." for a more positive reaction.
2. Proper Punctuation
Ending sentences with proper punctuation is actually preferred, even though some may think ending a text message with a period could come off as aggressive. Another important piece of punctuation to remember is the Oxford comma. There's a difference between "I love cooking my family and my dog" and "I love cooking, my family, and my dog."
3. YOMAFIO (You Only Make a First Impression Once) and LOL
Zoosk's study found that using the acronym "YOLO," meaning "you only live once," decreases response rates by 47% and they recommended that you drop it from your dating vocabulary. However, "LOL" passed the test, as it increased responses by 25%.
4. Your vs. You're
We all remember the lesson we got from Ross Geller on that one episode of Friends (specifically, The One With The Jellyfish). There's a very important difference between "your" and "you're." The differences between there, their, and they're, or then and than, as well as to and too are also very important to know.
5. Take Your Time
Smartphones have a full keyboard and unlimited characters, so there's no reason not to spell out what you want to say. Using shortcuts, like "u" in place of "you," shows that you don't care to take the time to write out a full sentence. You don't want your potential date to feel like you're too lazy to properly communicate with them. Beware of auto-correct, as it can bite you in the digital tush and make the smartest of singles seem a bit dumber on a good day.
Remember to always put your best digital foot forward and take the time to spell out what you want to say and your spelling and grammar will help you charm your way into your online love's heart.
Happy National Grammar Day!
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo
Julie Spira is America's Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker.