Grammarian Greetings

by Caryn Alper under JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Does grammar matter in your online dating profile? YES! I don’t know what’s going on lately, but I keep encountering profiles that would make any decent English teacher squirm. Poor grammar, misspellings, and general linguistic mangling are infiltrating both written profiles and verbal speech. I’m somewhat of a grammar nerd, but I know that poorly-written prose is a huge turn-off to more people than just me. In fact, a quick Google search yields dozens of articles on the topic, some of which quantify the decreased rates of response received by poorly-written profiles. And I’m not talking about a misplaced modifier or a preposition at the end of a sentence (although some of us may consider such egregiousness unforgivable)! I’m referring to those profiles that look like they were written by an overzealous 12-year-old girl who is texting her BFF!!! Or even worse, those that somehow managed to evade spell check and all junior high language classes. Is your profile in less-than-pristine condition? Don’t despair. Ask Tamar for content help, and contact me for editorial assistance – I will happily proofread your profile! Here’s a brief primer to remind you of some common grammatical or usage problems.

1. Capitalization

PLEASE DON’T YELL! Typing in all capital letters looks aggressive and angry. Don’t do it unless you’re making some kind of point. Similarly, don’t use all lowercase letters. Remember to capitalize the first letter of new sentences as well as names and places.

2. Sentence Structure

Have you ever come across a profile that says something like, “I like to travel. I like dogs. I also like pizza. I have a big family.” Never mind that this profile is generic – but it would come alive with some varied sentence structures, like “Having grown up with 5 siblings,…” or “New York is my favorite place to visit…” or “Pizza drives my daily ambition to finish work by noon…” etc.

3. Abbrevs

Using abbreviations in place of actual words looks either lazy or like you’re trying to be cool. Or maybe cool’s not the right word here. But neither situation is ideal. No need for AIM speak (hey, wut r u up to? Do u like me?) or your generational equivalent of popular social communication forms (telegram? Snapchat?).  Similarly, don’t assume everyone knows the same acronyms. When it doubt, write it out!

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4. Punctuation

This is a big one. If you aren’t sure of a punctuation mark’s correct usage, avoid it. In other words, don’t randomly add semicolons to look smart or throw in quotation marks unnecessarily (My name is “Caryn.”) For some reason, people like quotes, but if used improperly, the text looks suspicious, like, my name might be Caryn.

 

 

5. Spelling

Most browsers have a built-in spell check, meaning that typos are clearly denoted by a squiggly red line. So no excuse here. I realize spell check doesn’t always catch errors like your vs. you’re, but human eyes do, so proofread! Or send to me or a friend to review.

Is writing not your strong suit? Or maybe English isn’t your first language? Not to worry – you can still craft an eloquent, enticing, error-free profile. Elicit the help of a friend or even read the text out loud to yourself to check for typos. People online don’t know you, so to the internet world, a sloppy profile = a sloppy person. Luckily, it’s time for spring cleaning, so no more sloppiness!


Enough About Me…

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Relationships,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

Having read a number of “about me” essays on here, I noticed many are extremely short and non-specific.  Because the other pages are essentially check boxes that are answered similarly by many, I view this essay as one of the most critical ways to get to know that person. In light of this, I made my essay somewhat lengthy and fairly specific. How should I go about describing myself?  Any do’s or don’ts?

Dear Enough About Me… What Do You Think About Me?,

Great question! I agree that most people should write more about themselves because no one really looks too closely at the check boxes unless they’re looking for something specific. BUT, your About Me essay shouldn’t be too long or too specific. Remember, you want to get their attention and stand out from the crowd, but keep some information to yourself so you have some fresh material for your first dates.

Here are my tips:

1) This is not a job interview so make sure your tone is relaxed and casual, fun and flirty.
2) Sell yourself but don’t be generic. Instead of saying “I’m funny” say “I’ll have you laughing so hard you’ll  pee your pants” or “I guarantee you’ll laugh everyday.”
3) Try not to use or overuse cliches. “I like long walks on the beach” is so unoriginal!
4) Spell check and grammar check even if you have to type your essay in Word and then copy & paste it.

Most of all make sure the first few words are good ones because they’ll show up on searches. I’ve seen some profiles that turned me off just by four words even when I thought the person in the picture was attractive! Good luck!


Email Messages

by GemsFromJen under JBloggers,JDate,Online Dating

Dear Gems from Jen-

I occasionally email someone who seems to have a lot in common with me, but never get a response. Can you tell me what’s necessary to say in a first email message to optimize a response?
I’m an attractive, intelligent woman and I just don’t get it.

Thanks,

Email Messages

Dear Email Messages,
I’m not sure if there are hard and fast rules as to what to say in a first message, but there are some guidelines that may increase your chances of getting a response. State what it is you have in common with the person by reading their profile. Don’t respond based solely on the picture.  Looks can be deceiving. Make certain your subject line is catchy and tells the person that you did take the time to read what it is they are all about. For instance, if the person you are wanting a response from likes baseball have your email subject relate to baseball. Let them know what caught your eye and ask for some elaboration. Be sure to ask questions about the person you are interested in getting to know better. It is very difficult to respond to an email that does not leave room for a response or responses. Lastly, check your spelling and grammar.

Signed,

Gems from Jen