STUDY: Word Nerds Suck

Hey Grammar Nazis, this is Mein Kempf, nine?!

Logophile? Grammarian? Speak Geek? Word Nerd?

Have any of you been called those things during your stay in the world of PR? If so, odds are you have been called much worse, according to a really interesting study by non-profit publisher PLOS One.

So, put down those red Sharpies and pay attention, people. You’re apparently a real pain in the ass.

PLOS scientists Julie Boland and Robin Queen from the University of Michigan asked participants to read email responses from your average, run-of-the-mill advertisement looking for a roommate. Imagine your collegiate days, minus the homework you forgot. These two evaluated the ad’s writer on both social and academic criteria.

To wit, they used three types of emails for this vulgar vernacular: emails without errors, emails with grammatical errors only and emails with typos only.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, then speculates that the difference between the two groups may be “perhaps because less agreeable people are less tolerant of deviations from convention.”

People person or hermit? Apparently, that has to do with how grammar errors were perceived.

“More extraverted people were likely to overlook written errors that would cause introverted people to judge the person who makes such errors more negatively,” the study says. “Less agreeable people were more sensitive to grammos, while more conscientious and less open people were sensitive to typos.”

Have you looked at Twitter lately? What about your cube farm in the agency? Sensitive is quite the understatement.