The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Dating in the Grammatically Challenged World


Grammar is sexy, and when I threw myself  into the online dating world a couple of years ago, it played a massive part in who I would select to email, as well as to whom I would respond. When dealing with an online start to a relationship, it’s mind-blowing how lazy certain people can be. The fact that someone has the time to compose an email, and yet still makes the decision to send a text-speak cluttered, grammatically challenged message, is simply sad.

It’s not that I don’t make grammatical mistakes from time to time. There have been instances over the last couple of weeks, where I’ve gone back to edit a few of these posts in order to clean up a few homophones, or tense issues. And I’ve definitely sent out emails and text messages with misspelled words, or quick acronyms to save a bit of time. It’s unfortunate, but true. That being said, those messages were not going to someone I was trying to date, or get to know, or even just someone for an evening adventure. In fact, I always stopped writing back to a woman if she sent me a message that contained text-speak, or any obvious grammatical errors – it didn’t matter if I was trying to get to know her, or trying to get to know her. It’s a turn off, and not one that I can overcome.

When I began emailing and texting with my fiance, I could tell that she cared about each and every word she sent my direction. It wasn’t just that I was an English teacher, but that she actually paid attention to what she was saying, and expected the same from me. She even called me out for using “gonna” in a few messages. I knew right away that this girl was a keeper. It’s not often that you find a knock-out who can also put together a proper sentence. I was hooked.

I completely understand that we are moving into a new generation, and with a new generation comes new colloquialisms. I get it; however, that does not mean  when someone is attempting to start an initial conversation with another person, that they should use said colloquialisms. There’s nothing wrong with telling another person, “You look absolutely gorgeous. I would love to get your number, and take you out sometime.” But to say, “Yo, baby, you’s fine. I’s fiddin’ to get your digits, an take you out,” just… well, it sounds exactly like it sounds: dumb, and illiterate. I work in a high school, and I hear those pick-up lines all day long. It’s beyond disturbing.

Dating in the grammatically challenged world can be difficult; however, it can be done. Don’t lower the bar on what you are looking for in a partner. In fact, raise that bar a bit higher, and I promise that you’ll turn around to, or open an email from, a person who can put together more than a fragment of a sentence.

About Christopher Margolin

Chris Margolin spent more than a decade in Education as a high school English teacher, and is now an Instructional Coach for the Longview School District. He is also the founder of The Poetry Question, an online journal which focuses on reviews of small press poetry publications, and runs a regular series called "The Power of Poetry," where notable poets share their personal stories of how poetry has affected their lives. Margolin resides in Vancouver, Washington with his wife, and daughter.

14 comments on “Dating in the Grammatically Challenged World

  1. T.a. Allan
    May 10, 2013

    YES! YES! YES! (not exactly grammatically stupendous, but communicative…YES?)

  2. joseasanoj
    May 11, 2013

    Good Post
    Sanoj Jose(Author, My Day Out With An Angel)

  3. Bastet
    May 11, 2013

    Great…grammer is sooooooooooooooo beautiful…

    • Grammar Police
      May 11, 2013

      Being ironic? (I hope)

      • Christopher Margolin
        May 11, 2013

        From their other post, I would assume they are being ironic.

      • Bastet
        May 11, 2013

        Well, actually no…some phrases that come out of people’s mouths make me shivver…I decide to pretend they’re speaking a foreign language…a grammer error slips out from time to time and our grammer, unlike French, German or Italian is more elastic, which is great, but some things we say are just so damned antiaesthetic!

    • Bastet
      May 11, 2013

      Ha ha ha…no…that is my very own personal spelling problem…it pops out when I’m not paying attention…like a little beasty, hiding away to remind me that I should reread what I write… 😉 …but I am also consistent with my errors…for a time I’d write experience – expierience. If you go back and look at some of my older posts, you’ll find that pearl in my tag lines…

  4. Bastet
    May 11, 2013

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet and commented:
    About grammer….and why we should use it from time to time…like maybe we could understand each other better… 🙂

  5. Daniel Budiarto
    May 12, 2013

    Even though I’m not a native speaker, I love the English language. So much, in fact, that I get itchy if I see a typo or a grammatical error, especially in a professional setting. My own grammar—and especially punctuation—can frustrate me sometimes and God knows native speakers’ vocabulary makes me envious.

    With regard to dating, however, I’m much more lenient; but then I never dated a native speaker before. I correct my wife every time she says something wrong grammatically, but we always laugh about it. I guess it just one more thing that makes a relationship more fun.

    • Daniel Budiarto
      May 12, 2013

      LOL I forgot the ‘s. “I guess it’s just one more thing that makes a relationship more fun.”

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