Ugly grammar versus ugly personality


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Internet grammar usage plays a big role in students’ virtual lives. Students at the University of San Diego share their concerns, as well their passive attitudes towards poor grammar used on the internet.

Social networking apps such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Tinder require users to write something about themselves which usually consists of a short biography including their interests, likes, dislikes, and accomplishments.

These apps have a spellcheck feature embedded in their software, which limit grammatical errors. However, that’s not always the case, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The descriptions written in the ‘About Me’ section are often open-ended and have no strict guidelines.

Some students at USD believe the lack of effort when it comes to being grammatically correct can be a make or break scenario.

Senior Colton Michael Moore shared his thoughts on the importance of the content versus the actual writing style.

“I definitely would be able to point out the mistakes,” Moore said. “I’m not sure if it would bother me though. I’m more concerned about an ugly personality than I am with ugly grammar.”

Grammarly is an online writing enhancement platform as well as proofreading service that some students and professionals use to revise their writing. Grammarly’s website claims that it can identify correctly spelled words that are used in the wrong context and can even suggest correct citations.

Earlier this year Grammarly released the five most common English grammar mistakes.

The number one mistake used in English is the misuse of the words its and it’s. The number two mistake is the confusion between the words there, their, and they’re. The following three mistakes on Grammarly’s list are the subject-verb agreements, comma splices, and misuse of apostrophes.

Stephanie Katz is an online content specialist and freelance writer from San Francisco. Kat shared the importance of conventional English writing.

“Grammar isn’t just the domain of high-minded intellectuals,” Katz said. “It’s a system and structure that’s genuinely in existence to help us communicate more clearly.”

Students agree that correct English is necessary most of the time, such as in class assignments, research papers, and midterms. Other students believe that English does not have to be flawless when you update your status on Facebook.

Ioana Basil, first-year psychology student, does not agree that grammar should be taken so seriously on the Internet, especially on dating sites.

“It’s not a writing exam and I’m not expecting there to be rubric,” Basil said. “When I’m connected to social media I’m a freelance writer and I hope not to get judged for how I write.”

However, some students have shown an attractiveness towards people who use proper English on dating sites.

Tinder is an online dating app that has become a sensation across the nation, including here at USD. Some students use this app to meet other students in the area.

Unlike other dating apps, Tinder does not use an algorithm to match people.

Instead, Tinder allows people to choose each other based on a variety of things, including correct use of spelling.

Students chose to remain anonymous during interviews. To protect the identity of the students, the following are quotes from these unnamed students.

“I don’t care if you forget a comma, but if you don’t know the difference between there, their, and they’re, I will swipe left,” an anonymous student said.

“I think it’s everyone’s own prerogative,” another anonymous  student said. “I personally find it aesthetically pleasing to see good use of grammar.”

It appears that spelling, grammar, and sentence composition matter to some students more than others. There is no rubric for online dating apps but there are resources on campus to help you improve your academic writing skills such as the Writing Center. The Writing Center is located in Founders Hall room 190B.

Students have shown their concerns with online grammar usage. Some have favored proper English writing while others stay neutral. Whatever the choice is, be assured there are resources to help your writing.