Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column has repeatedly stressed that accuracy matters. According to a new survey conducted by online dating site Zoosk, it can also have a negative impact on your love life, especially for guys. More than 65 per cent of female respondents considered poor grammar to be a total "deal breaker".
Online dating image from Shutterstock
Zoosk surveyed over 9000 users who identify as single. It discovered that many online daters really don't like inconsistent grammar -- it's enough to turn them off even if they are physically attracted to the person in the profile picture.
Overall, nearly half of singles (48 per cent) consider poor grammar to be a deal breaker in online dating, although men were found to be less picky than women: 40 per cent were repelled by bad grammar, compared to 65 per cent of women.
Meanwhile, 72 per cent of singles are turned off by "blatant" spelling errors, such as forgetting the space between "alot". According to Zoosk's data, this decreases response rates by 12 per cent. Around 25 per cent of respondents said this indicates poor education while 27 per cent believed laziness was to blame.
Interestingly, the survey found that opening messages sent with an exclamation point were 10 per cent more likely to receive a response. In other words, go with "you're cute!" instead of "your cute".
The millennial phrase "YOLO" (shorthand for "you only live once") appears to be almost universally despised, with response rates decreasing by 47 per cent once the acronym entered conversation. LOL is a safer bet, which increases the likelihood of a response by 25 per cent.
You also shouldn't hesitate to add a full stop to your sentences -- a massive 93 per cent of respondents said they would be pleased to receive text messages with proper punctuation.
Of course, avoiding common spelling mistakes won't guarantee you a date -- you also need an engaging profile, a full-body photo and preferably be really, really, ridiculously good looking. This guide can help with some of the above. Good luck!
Lifehacker's Mind Your Language column offers bossy advice on improving your writing.