A study published in March suggests what we’ve all long suspected: People who are obsessed with grammar aren’t as nice as the rest of us.
For the study, scientists Julie Boland and Robin Queen from the University of Michigan asked 83 participants to read email responses to an ad for a roommate, and then evaluate the writer on both social and academic criteria.
There were three types of emails shown in the study: emails without errors, emails with grammatical errors only and emails with typos only. […]
According to Boland and Queen’s research, more agreeable participants (as determined by the results of the Big Five Personality index) tended to rate grammar errors less harshly than less agreeable participants, who showed more sensitivity to “grammos” — homophonous grammar errors like to/too, it’s/its.
The study, published in the journal PLOS One, then speculates that the difference between the two groups may be “perhaps because less agreeable people are less tolerant of deviations from convention.”
Mind you, I wouldn’t put money on the accuracy of the results, but if it makes even a few people think twice about “correcting” other people’s spelling and grammar, I’m all for it.