Monday, January 17, 2011

Why good grammar is sexy

I recently told a friend ... "I'm always attracted to nerds." She didn't scoff. She didn't ridicule me. She laughed and said "I love a man who uses good grammar."

I couldn't agree with her more. At first I thought it was because I majored in Journalism and minored in English. Apparently, I'm not the only one who somewhat enjoyed Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" or wonders if 'e-mail' or 'email' is the correct format in AP Style.

I'm not trying to police the entire English language. I certainly make mistakes myself. All I'm asking is that people use basic correct English. We have a set of standard rules so we can communicate as a whole and understand each other.

When I'm talking to a guy, it's an automatic turn-off, if for example, he says, "I did good on my test," instead of "I did well on my test." I know not everyone loves grammar as much as I do, but let me explain the basic principle between 'good' and 'well' - it will make you sound smarter.

Good: (adjective) enjoyable, satisfactory, pleasing
Well: (adverb) in a satisfactory way, with approval/praise

Not only will using correct grammar make you sound smarter, it will make people respect your opinion more. This picture is a prime example. There are some obvious mistakes in the original text. Readers probably scoffed at the sign and thought the pump attendant had the mental capacity of a three-year-old. The writer could have been a math genius or an engineer, but when your sign reads "all pump is pre-pay," everyone thinks you're an idiot. (Aside from being a foreigner learning English, there's no excuse for this.)

Grammar can be a great weapon as well. I used it to end a middle school fight by correcting a mean note a girl wrote to me. I gave it back to her and never heard another word. Silly - I know, but it's just an example of grammar giving you the upper hand.

Let me just take this time to mention that there is a stark difference between being a bad speller and not knowing how to use grammar. I know lots of people who simply just cannot spell, no matter how hard they try. Luckily for these people, there's spell check and that relic of a book: The Dictionary! Not to mention, when you speak, no one knows if you can't spell or not. Bad spellers can still exude intelligence in a conversation by using good grammar.

There are a few basic things everyone should know about grammar. You need to know the difference between there, their, and they're. You need to know how to use good and well. You need to know the difference between your and you're. You need to know the basic structure of a sentence. (YOU MUST HAVE SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT.) Don't use ain't. Don't use was instead of were. And if you're not sure: ASK! Asking makes you seem like less of a dumbass than just giving up and using words wrong.

Good grammar is sexy because it makes a person seem reasonably intelligent. This intelligence brings respect. No one is seriously attracted to someone they can't respect, right? 


  1. This is excellent... and spot-on!

  2. I love this. Just how much additional time did you spend editing and skimming each sentence to be certain that your grammar was correct? Otherwise, this blog would have been really comical. I was sort of praying that you had made some noticeable errors : )

  3. "using words wrong" or using words incorrectly :)

  4. Are you sure you don't want "makes" in that final paragraph? If not, I applaud your mastery of irony.

  5. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I often come across women who have spent ages on their hair, clothes and make-up, and who really look as if they are film stars. Then they open their mouth and you know at once they are frauds.

  6. I thought haven’t read such distinctive material anywhere else on-line.Grammarly reviews