Belfast Telegraph

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If you are interested in a man's colon use, be a medic

By Jessica Brown

One of the only downsides to having a good education - aside from the lifetime of debt and crippling self-doubt - is the hangover of pedantry it can leave us with.

Some of us graduate from university expecting to be addressed only in proper sentences. We feel like we're doing a good deed when we ring up a friend to tell them they split an infinitive on their latest tweet and we sure as hell don't mess with Oxford Commas.

Grammatical pedantry is one of the only socially acceptable prejudices we can use to make ourselves feel like we're better than someone else. And with everyone communicating on phones and tablets, opportunity is rife.

Unfortunately, the prescriptive, holier-than-thou crowd has made its way over from the university library to the dating scene.

In an article about the crossover between dating and poor language skills, the Wall Street Journal looked into just some of the examples of our seemingly growing hostility towards potential dates that can't spell.

As well as someone comparing finding out a date's grammar isn't perfect to having an allergic reaction to cats, the article cited dating site Match's research, which found that 88% of women and 75% of men cared more about grammar than anything else in a potential mate.

Once upon a time, as a naive graduate, I would have been put off a date if they had no awareness of tense, or a habit of boycotting vowels. I had a degree - I wasn't about to mix with complete mavericks.

But since living in the adult world for a few years, life has taught me two things. Never, ever ask anyone how it's going with the home they're in the process of buying and pedantry is a much bigger turn-off than flouting grammar rules.

The lead-up to a first date should be fun. It's a test of conversation skills - not grammar. In a world where texting is the prelude to any romance, an intelligent man doesn't need to use all of his letters all of the time to prove anything.

A man who texts with efficiency is a man who follows his own agenda. A woman who doesn't agonise over getting a 100% apostrophe rate is a woman who has better, more interesting things to do with her time.

If you're solely looking to find someone who knows his way around a semi-colon, you can't complain when it turns out he knows his way around little else.

Belfast Telegraph

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