Translation Musings: Do typos drive you crazy?

Apr 6, 2016 | Language, Miscellaneous

mind your languageTheir are too kinds of people. Ok, just joking. Khm… So, there are two kinds of people: those who don’t care if you cannot write correctly and might not even notice a few errors in your email and those who stop talking to you when they realise that you mix up “your” and “you’re” in your text messages.

Intuition suggests that educational level could be a factor in this question: people with a higher educational level could be more conscious of typos and grammatical mistakes. But it could also depend on age, gender, the time spent online or reading printed materials. One would assume that these could all affect a person’s sensitivity to grammar.

However, a new study proposes that these are not the main factors of being a stern grammarian. According to Julie E. Boland and Robin Queen, it’s all about personality traits. Introverts, they have found, are more likely to care about typos and grammos (small grammatical mistakes, such as confusing “it’s” with “its”). Extroverts, on the other hand, are more forgiving.

These results are interesting. However, I do believe that there must be more to it. Amongst my colleagues in-house and all our freelance linguists – who are true grammar pedants as it is a “requirement” in our profession –, there are so many different personalities! There are introverts and extroverts, early birds and night owls, cautious and adventurous people… The language-obsessed ones are just as diverse a bunch as the rest of the world. :)


You can find the article, “If You’re House Is Still Available, Send Me an Email: Personality Influences Reactions to Written Errors in Email Messages” here.

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