Judging a guy by how well he … punctuates

Jeff RubinI was chatting with my friend Jeff Rubin (The Newsletter Guy) about dating profiles and punctuation today. “Punctuation?” you ask. “That’s a weird topic.” Not to Jeff and other of my friends. You see, Jeff started National Punctuation Day (Sept. 24) to call attention to the importance of proper punctuation. The book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation helped garner a lot of attention to this topic.Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Jeff and I were chatting about online profiles and I said I was drawn to men’s profiles that were articulate, humorous and with proper spelling, grammar and — you guessed it — punctuation. Recently, I responded to a guy out of my geographical range because he said he was a “down-to-earth guy” — punctuated properly. Of course, he also met my other criteria, but it is so rare to see correct punctuation I swooned. Too bad the date didn’t end in an exclamation point!

Here’s an example of a far-too-common profile writing style:

my dogs not helping!

dependable, loving,affectionate, communicative, low maintanence, lover of traveling,sweet, outdoorsy camper ,playful, great kisser, fetcher funny,cuddler,OOPS all thats my dog! oh well… like dog.. like owner! of course im the cuter one. seeking the same and more!

Do you find all those misspellings, bad punctuation and missing capitals appealing? I don’t. I guess some people don’t understand how important a first impression is.

After going out with a guy once, I had to tell him we weren’t a match. He was good humored about it and teased me about why. I responded half kiddingly “It’s because you write ‘your’ when you mean ‘you’re.’” Other common examples are using “it’s” (it is) when “its” (possessive form) is what is called for. More than one man describes himself as “Intellegent” in his profile.

I know, you’re thinking, “That’s kinda shallow, isn’t it? To judge someone on their punctuation?” It’s only one piece of the puzzle. So be mindful of your own punctuation. When in doubt, go to the National Punctuation Day site where Jeff has a primer on proper punctuation and some terrific photos and products.

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3 responses to “Judging a guy by how well he … punctuates”

  1. Jeff Rubin Avatar

    Dear Goddess,

    Thanks for the plug. Punctuation is also important in one’s sex life. Here are a few examples:

    1. You’ve just returned home from a long business trip. You’re reconnecting with your spouse/lover and when you’re done, you roll over to your side of the bed and say, “That was great?” Or, you say, ‘That was great!” It all depends on the punctuation as to whether or not you’re going to reconnect again that day.

    2. An example in three parts:
    • Pre-marital sex — what you get before you are married or if you’re reading this blog
    • Extra marital sex: What you’re getting if you’re in a good marriage
    • Extra-marital sex: What you’re getting if you’re in a bad marriage
    If you’re getting extra-marital sex, chances are you’re not getting extra marital sex.

  2. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Jeff — this is very funny — and so you!

    I will now have to watch my punctuation now that I know you’re going to be occasionally reading this!

  3. Gatti Avatar

    Bless you, Goddess, for being a punctuation stickler. Me too. I simply cannot see myself getting involved with a man who can’t express himself properly in writing.

    A query: how do you deflect a first contact email when you can barely read it?