People Who Get Bothered By Grammatical Errors Online Are Jerks, Study Finds

03/04/2016 12:58 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Businessman yelling at a computer monitor

You know the person who’s obsessed with your, you’re, and whether you’re using your pronouns and contractions correctly?

Turns out, they’re kind of a jerk.

Linguistic experts from the University of Michigan have found people with less agreeable and less open personalities are more likely to be upset by grammatical errors and typos.

via GIPHY

And introverts are more likely to judge you for your egregious errors compared to extroverts, who prefer to let things slide.

To work out who the grammar police were, researchers got participants to read emails from a fictional housemate applicant.

The emails had varying numbers of typos and grammatical mistakes, and readers then rated the respondents on their intelligence and friendliness.

via GIPHY

"In this experiment, we examined the social judgments that readers made about the writers," lead author of the study, Julie Boland, said.

"This is the first study to show that the personality traits of listeners/readers have an effect on the interpretation of language.”

Participants were also asked to complete a personality test, and the study authors then correlated personality types with how much they judged the fictional respondent for their errors.

"More extroverted people were likely to overlook written errors that would cause introverted people to judge the person who makes such errors more negatively,” the study found.

“Less agreeable people were more sensitive to grammos, while more conscientious and less open people were sensitive to typos.”

via GIPHY

What’s also interesting is that everyone -- extrovert or introvert, agreeable or cranky -- was more positive towards those respondents with less errors.

Pay attention in school, kids. Seems it'll help when emailing your future grumpy landlord.

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