One Word Turn-Offs

by Lorien E. Menhennett

I realized today, as I flipped through profiles on the online dating site where I am a  member, that I cannot date someone who is unable to spell everyday words correctly. Here is why.

I completely believe in putting your best foot forward. For example, if you have a job (or medical school) interview, you wear an appropriate suit. Not flip-flops, not Bermuda shorts, not a T-shirt. In the online dating world, this means writing a good profile. And by “good” I don’t mean Pulitzer Prize-winning writing. I mean something honest, sincere, maybe with a little humor, if that fits your style. But it also means, in my book, spelling things right. If you don’t, that suggests one of three things to me:

  1. You are lazy
  2. You are unprofessional
  3. You are uneducated

Or at the worst, perhaps all three. And pardon me if I don’t want to be with a guy who is uneducated, unprofessional, and lazy. My standards are a little higher than that at this point in my life.

As I said, I’m not looking for amazing writing. This has nothing to do whatsoever with content (I won’t get into that). But sloppiness, when it comes to language, makes me cringe. Fine examples that I found today (and just today!) include:

  • One guy spelled “Chicago” wrong. No, I’m not kidding. I wish I were.
  • When he meant to talk about his “role” model, another guy used the word “roll.” I realize that homophones (words that have the same pronunciation, but different meanings) can be confusing. But “role model” is a pretty commonly used phrase.
  • One profile question asks what you are looking for in a partner. One guy mentioned that he wanted somone funny and “quick whited.” I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about bleached blond hair here … or was he?

I know this doesn’t bother everyone, but words, as well as how people use (or abuse) them, matter to me. And I’m looking for someone who understands that, at least on a basic level.