If your reading this sentense and it feels like your bein stabbed in the chest, then its already to late....
You're a member of the grammar police.
Although up until this point it might've seemed like a good thing to take pride in one's grammatical standards, a new study has found that those who correct people's errors too often are actually just being jerks.
Don't @ us, it's what the study says.
Ann Arbor psychologists Julie E. Boland and Robin Queen examined the issue by recruiting 83 volunteers, asking them to pretend they'd placed an ad for a roommate and had to read the responses. Some of these responses contained grammatical mistakes and typos, while others didn't. You can see an example of one of the incorrect emails below:
"Hey! My name is Pat and I'm interested in sharing a house with other students who are serious abuot (about) there (their) schoolwork but who also know how to relax and have fun. I like to play tennis and love old school rap. If your (you're) someone who likes that kind of thing too, maybe we would mkae (make) good housemates."
The participants were then made to respond to the writer by judging whether or not they'd take that person as a housemate. The results showed that typos and grammatical errors had a negative impact on how the writers were perceived.
But what has that got to do with the grammar police being jerks? Well, something else interesting unfolded in the study.
The volunteers also filled out another questionnaire that included five personality traits, extraversion, agreeability, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness, and they were made to fill out where they fit on the scale.
What they found was that certain traits correlated with negative reactions to the mistakes - introverts tended to judge more harshly, while people who categorised themselves as 'less agreeable' were likelier to be tough on linguistic mishaps.
In other words, those who take a hard line on people for missing out their apostrophes are likelier to be a less agreeable introvert, while those who are socially outgoing are more inclined to let those blunders slide.
Boland and Queen concluded: "The primary contribution of the current study is the finding that personality traits influence our reactions to written errors...
"Although personality traits have been linked to variation in production, particularly the use of specific lexical items, this is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the overall assessment of variable language."
Featured Image Credit: PA