We’ve all been there: you meet the man or woman of your dreams. You have the best first date in the history of first dates. You spend the next day doodling your name with their surname.
Right on cue they text you, just like they said they would. But they’re gone and mixed up ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ and there are at least three misplaced apostrophes and now you’re wondering if you bring yourself to reply, let alone see them again in actual person.
If you’re thinking this is an exaggeration, then a survey of daters in the Netherlands would suggest otherwise. It found that spelling mistakes and random capitalisation, among other texting crimes, are perceived as signs of sloppiness which impact how attractive the writer is considered to be.
Prospective partners who use more formal grammar, it found, were ironically considered 'warmer' than those who used more informal text speak such as emoticons, lower case and frequent exclamation marks.
These results are backed up by other studies which showed that language errors are interpreted as an indicator of poor education, ignorance, clumsiness or showing a lack of attention to detail.