Good news, everyone: if you’re pedantic about spelling and grammar, it means you’re sexy. Science says so.
Admittedly, that paragraph is not accurate and I’m not even certain about the quality of its grammar but it’s a marvellous topic of conversation, so off we go.
According to hilarious reporting I have encountered, chiefly from a fashion magazine, a new study from Kyoto University in Japan has drawn conclusions about personality types after measuring 83 people’s reactions to typos.
The text used in the test included the phrases “students who are serious abuot there schoolwork” and “if your someone who likes that kind of thing”. If you are not annoyed, we can never be friends.
The experts took the results and plotted personality traits in a complicated way. The conclusion: people who are uncomfortable with such errors are more likely to be introverts. There was no mention of sex.
The magazine then connected the study with the views of venerable psychologist Hans Eysenck, who said introverts tend to have a higher state of sexual arousal than extroverts.
Thus, pedants are sexy – Genius.
As a professional pedant with all the sexual allure of a mouldy potato, I was amused. I envisioned difficult people like me charming the intimate partners of their choice by explaining the difference between “there”, “their” and “they’re”, or holding forth on the majesty of the Oxford comma. Sadly, there is a difference between arousal and real attractiveness but it was fun for a few seconds.
The truth, ironically, is pedants are a dying breed. Typing on tiny screens and wrestling with accursed apps, people are eschewing spelling, punctuation and sentence structure entirely.
I don’t pretend my English is perfect and I’ve relaxed in recent years as I’ve written in a conversational tone and forced myself to remember that language evolves.
Even so, I can’t give up. Some battles must be fought. I will continue to object to errant apostrophes on fruit and veg stalls, because it must be done.
Maybe – just maybe – it really will be sexy one day.