I’m a huge fan of Shakespeare and Chaucer, the poetry and prose of old. Why? Because to me their writing, and the writing of others from their eras, is eloquent. This eloquent quality of older writing isn’t too surprising. But not because older writers are necessarily better writers.
Older writing tends to have this extra layer of eloquence because the difficulty of getting together the materials and resources needed for making books meant that you couldn’t just publish anything — what you turned into a book had to be carefully considered and planned out. And, of course, the same attention needed to be paid to what you wrote if you wanted it to last through the centuries.
Apparently, though, even if the written word is easier to publish than ever before, a little written eloquence still goes a long way in romance. Particular in online romance.
Recently, Grammarly teamed up with eHarmony and ran a study to see if there was any correlation between grammar and people’s success on the dating site.
To carry out the study, Grammarly looked at 10,000 of the matched couples that eHarmony’s matching algorithm put together. Out of those 10,000 matched couples, half pursued a relationship and the other half did not. All of the men and women in this sample of 10,000 couples answered questions with long form answers, and Grammarly’s software analyzed these answers to generate their findings on spelling and grammar. In the end, proper grammar won out over even confidence when it came to what both women and men looked for in the matches that the site made.
Here are the study’s findings in infographic form (courtesy of Grammarly):
So, based on these findings, it looks like even though our world is wrapped in a blanket of written, printed, and digital words, the quality of those words still matters. Even in the dating world.
As to why grammar should be a factor in finding romance, well, my guess is that proper grammar reflects on a person’s intelligence, attention to detail, and overall awareness. And, since spellings became normalized in the 1700s, maybe proper spelling in particular suggests to prospective partners that those who use it are aware of the rules of the social world and are therefore more likely to come out on top.
Whatever the reason behind the importance of spelling and grammar for successful online dating, as you go forth in your romantic endeavours today, tomorrow (Valentine’s Day!), and any day, remember that confidence is important, but more important still is knowing when and where to use “whom.”