88% Of You Will Swipe Right For This

ILLUSTRATED BY LY NGO
Navigating the world of online dating can be challenging, with seemingly countless dating apps — including a few dedicated solely to the one-night stand — to choose from. But while much has been said about the importancce of selecting just the right profile picture, it turns out there's more to getting users to swipe right than just a strategic selfie. Go ahead and put away the duck face, ladies and gentlemen, because according to The Wall Street Journal, these days, the hottest thing on dating sites is proper grammar.

In fact, grammar ranks second only to personal hygiene when it comes to evaluating potential dates, the paper reports, citing a survey of more than 5,000 American singles done by popular dating site Match.com. The findings show that 88% of female and 75% of male respondents said they cared about grammar the most — ahead, even, of a prospective suitors' confidence or teeth. (Kate Moss would totally approve.)

Rather than relax the boundaries of propriety, the increasingly informal and colloquial usage of language in recent years has instead amplified the amount in which people use grammar and word choice to judge others, Ben Zimmer, a lexicographer and chair of the New Words Committee of the American Dialect Society, told the Journal. Thus, errors in a dating site profile are judged particularly harshly, because, as Max Lytvyn, co-founder of automated-proofreading company Grammarly, explained, “People use quality of writing as an indication of work ethic.”

And the numbers back this up — for the guys. Analyzing spelling errors on the dating site eHarmony, Grammarly found that men with two spelling errors on the site were 14% less likely to receive a positive response than men with no spelling errors. Spelling errors made by women, interestingly enough, did not seem to impact their chances for a positive match. (Side note: Come on now, people. Smart girls are sexy.)

All of this has driven some dating site diehards to use an additional app called The Grade to help rank the message quality of love interests. This self-proclaimed female-friendly app, created by SNAP Interactive Inc., checks messages for typos and grammatical errors, subtracting points for messages that contain abbreviations like "YOLO," and assigns each user a letter grade from A+ to F. (Oof. Beware the dating app C student.)

Still others, like Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai, aren't buying this new grammar paradigm. When it comes to dating profiles, “It’s [all about] the visual," Simkhai told the Journal. "I don’t think anybody reads these things. If you’re hot and attractive to the other person, you’ll meet them. Grammar? Are you kidding?"
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