Tag Archives: University of Michigan

I love science!

Scientific progress never stops – there seems to be no field in which day by day scientists make new discoveries. While I can of course not keep track of all of them, from time to time I come across something that really gets me interested. Such as this new study in the field of psychology. OK, that’s not the study itself but just a short media report on it, but don’t be such a language Nazi!

Because, as this study by scientists from the University of Michigan suggests, people obsessed with grammar are not as nice as the rest of us.

The study: the scientists showed three different sets of emails to a group of people; one set was with no mistakes, one set contained typos, and one set contained grammatical errors. The participants had to judge the three sets, and the individual participants showed of course differences in their attitude towards mistakes. The participants in this test underwent also psychological tests based on the so-called Big Five Personality index – and guess what? There is indeed a correlation between being an “agreeable” person and judging grammar errors lightly, as being not very important, and on the other hand being a “less agreeable” person who is more intolerant and harsh when it comes to accept grammatical errors.

In short: nice people accept typos and grammatical errors, not so nice people who care for orthography and correct grammar, score very low in the Big Five Personality index, and are therefore rightfully referred to as grammar Nazis.

Me thinks that this is wonderful news! Although, as a social scientist, I had at first some serious doubts regarding the chosen methodology, but then I realized that this is all not important. After all, I am an agreeable person with a high Big Five Personality index score.

It is wonderful news for various reasons:

School children will not need any longer to be tortured by less agreeable teachers who are so terribly intolerant as to insist on correct writing and grammar. We want these grammar Nazis out of school asap! If I think about how many traumas these children had to suffer – and all just because of some not so nice people who torture them with orthography and grammar, it just makes me sad.

Publishers will be very glad too – they will need no longer go through the process of proofreading and editing of texts. That will save them a lot of money, will make the books cheaper and the readers more happy! Just to think about that maybe several grammar policemen were tormenting the author with their unpleasant and unagreeable character, forcing him to correct his orthography, and – imagine! – even his grammatical errors is so sickening for me! Thank God that we will get rid of this pest now, and will be finally read texts that are free from the influence of the grammar Nazis. These new books will teach them to be more nice in the future! And for the hopeless cases: they should just let us agreeable people alone and stick to their Karl Kraus books…

And finally: this new scientific study is a relief for all of us. No more checking my writing for typos, no more thinking about how exactly I will formulate a sentence in order to express what I want to say – the empathic readers will understand probably (more or less) what I wanted to say, even when my grammar is a bit “creative” and my orthography “charming” – and whoever dares to correct me just proves that he has a character deficit. 

Isn’t that nice? I love science!

© Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com, 2014-6. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas Hübner and mytwostotinki.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.