Confirmed: If You Always Point Out Grammatical Mistakes, You’re A Jerk

*Tags overly-critical friend*

Article heading image for Confirmed: If You Always Point Out Grammatical Mistakes, You’re A Jerk


We all know someone who loves to constantly pick apart the way we speak and write, picking up on every grammatical error we make. 


We understand if it’s once in a blue moon and with the intention to help a friend out, but when it is all the freakin’ time… well, you feel like high fiving your friend… in the face. 




Your friend will still attest to being an ace of a person for knowing the ins and outs of the (confusing) English language, but it turns out that they’re actually just a jerk. 


Numerous studies have confirmed that those who like to criticise others for their grammar are closed-minded and are more contemptible. 


You’re probably yelling ‘I KNEW IT’ in your mind right now, getting ready to tag your overly-critical mate in this post. 




A 2016 study, published in the journal PLOS One, looked at the way a person’s personality and traits influence the way they communicate with and act around other people online. The study’s lead author, University of Michigan’s Julia Boland, found that one’s personality actually determines how you understand and interpret language.  


The study gave 83 participants an ad for a housemate, which had grammatical mistakes and typos carefully edited into it. They were asked to review the housemate on the basis of their attributes and suitability as a roommate, and then whether the typos affected their view of them as a person. 


The participants were then asked to complete a Big Five Personality Assessment, which shows how extraverted or introverted, agreeable or argumentative one is online. 


Researchers then compiled all the results and found that extraverts and those who were more conscientious didn’t have too much of a problem with typos, looking deeper than just surface mistakes, whereas those who had less agreeable personality types found offence with grammatical mistakes. 


The less open-minded a participant was, the more they hated grammatical errors because they find it difficult to deviate from the norm. 




Keep in mind, there were a lot of factors that weren’t taken into account when conducting the study. Things like age, education level, geographical location, etc., could all have an impact on how open or closed minded someone is. 


Try and keep your criticisms of how people talk and write to yourself… 






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Hayley Mitchelhill-Miller

10 May 2019

Article by:

Hayley Mitchelhill-Miller

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