Here’s a frightening thought – grammar is a window into your soul. It’s not what you say as much as how you say it. And it’s not only what you utter, but what you type into your computer. Yikes!
After reviewing the patterns of politicians, court witnesses and bloggers, linguistic experts can identify a person’s sex and age by the words they choose. Your choice of words is revealed by the pronouns, articles and prepositions you use as well as how you end your sentences because it’s oh-so tempting to end on “to.”
Apparently liars don’t throw around the “I” word. And they’re equally stingy with “but,” “without” and “except.” Those words make the lie more difficult to keep straight, according to linguists.
The analysis extended to the wacky world of dating. After studying 1,600 personal ads on a dating website, some definite trends have surfaced. Turns out women use the words “no” and “never” the most. My husband Paul heartily agrees with that summation.
“Honey, wanna buy a [fill in any type of expensive watercraft/tool/ toy]?” he’ll ask with childlike innocence.
“No, not now.”
“How ‘bout never.”
Back to dating. Gay men use long words in their ads. Lesbians tend to use shorter words and write the shortest ads. Straight men use long sentences and swear more often. No wonder their sentences are longer – those expletives take up space. Based on the study’s 80% accuracy rate, this is useful info if you’re looking for love through the personals, unless you’re lying about yourself or your sexual orientation.
One of my friends opted for online dating and is now married to the man she met through the web. Since she had success, she sent me her Woman’s Dictionary for Personal Ads:
- attractive = pathological liar
- 40ish = 49
- easygoing = desperate
- contagious smile = does a lot of pills
- New Age = body hair issues
- sociable = loud and obnoxious
- fit = flat chested
- hot-blooded = sloppy drunk
- needs soul mate = stalker
Obviously this dictionary is more about reading between the lines than analyzing the actual words.
Phew, I’m getting tired, and a little depressed by all of this revealing analysis. Soon I’ll be afraid to write anything for fear of being confused with a liar or a politician. Wait, that didn’t come out as intended . . . or did it?
I’d better go and carefully dangle a few participles before I get into serious trouble.