Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Run-On Sentences and Other Dating Turn-Offs

So after two and a half days of being snowbound due to Winter Storm 2011 blasting Atlanta and North Georgia, I've had plenty of time to... well... reflect.  Okay, plenty of time meaning the two minutes and two seconds during commercial breaks of NCIS reruns and the local news and the occasional instances where I decide that it is part of being a responsible adult to get off the couch and bathe on a daily basis.  During a few of these rare moments of brain activity, I realized that I can't really accomplish my 2011 New Year's resolution without putting myself out there a little bit.  Maybe I should work harder at mixing up my dating options a bit, I thought, create more of a combination approach to meeting new people.  I know I've talked about it before, but maybe now is the time to put that in action.  After the longest of these contemplations, I sat back down on the couch (come on, what else is there to do in 5 inches of snow in Atlanta?) and decided to finally open a few of my recent emails... mostly out of curiosity to see what I managed to attract without any effort on my part in my recent online dating hiatus. 

It took all of about three seconds for me to make a pretty monumental discovery.  I have become the Singleton that I had hoped I would not.  When I started this whole thing, I promised myself (and was forced to promise various other friends who knew I had this tendency) that I would not rush to judgment of male suitors or potential matches based on some small, insignificant, obviously petty characteristic that seems to be more prevalent in the country today than the opposite.  Urgh.  But more often than not, I find myself completely ruling people out because of it, and there is no way to stop it.  I can't overlook it, and my ability to instantly recognize it aggravates me tenfold when I can't seem to forget that it exists.  All right, I'll say it.  Are you ready to finally see how discriminatingly narrow-minded I can actually be?  Here is it:

My name is Melanie and I can't see past spelling and grammatical errors in online dating profiles.  (GASP!) (Hangs head in shame.  Peeks up to see if you are looking at her with disgust.)  Let me explain.

Among the various emails I received from men on POF, the first one that caught my attention didn't even require clicking the link to open.  His screenname alone proved, in multiple ways, that I was not the slightest bit interested.  "IWantToPleezeYou" was obviously less educated and driven to online date by more physical factors than I am (and I am not giving him the benefit of the doubt that by "pleeze," he means "make me happy."  Nope.  No benefit simply because of his choice of letters and their placement).  Moving on to the next contestant on "Who Doesn't Really Want To Date Melanie?"  The next email was from a gentlemen who had a very reasonable screenname (although I'm pretty sure it contained his actual last name, so draw your own conclusions on intelligence).  Inside, his profile relayed his desire to find someone who wasn't going to change him, wasn't going to cheat on him, and wasn't into playing games.  His introduction paragraph went on and on about these things, all in one rather lengthy, rather grammatically incorrect sentence.  Okay... deep breaths, Melanie... it's okay.  Maybe he was just really excited about getting his profile out there to the world to find the woman of his dreams.  Deep breath.  Keep reading and don't be judgmental.  I noted that he preferred not to answer on his religion, his desire to have children and whether or not he owned a car (strange POF profile required question), but kept reading.  Amazingly.  Until... I got to his profession.  I could see past blatant attempts to obscure unattractive responses; I could see past his probably Guinness World Record quality run-on introduction paragraph/sentence, but I could not see past what I saw next.  Next to "Profession,"  this Singleton replied:  "Buisnes."  Oh.  Good.  Grief.  Seriously?  Seriously. 

Spelling the word as "buisness" is a pretty typical typographical error.  I could overlook that.  Probably less likely to be overlooked when paired with the run-on sentence of the year, but I digress.  But, dropping the last letter most definitely reinforces the spelling error.  It's his profession!!!  And he can't spell it!!! 

Okay, so I know that I have had many a spelling error myself and am by no means claiming infallibility when it comes to grammatical errors.  I'm sure you could easily peruse through the last few posts and find at least two or three errors within the first few paragraphs.  But, much like my resume and cover letters for job applications, my online profiles are proofread repeatedly and absolutely spotless.  Because I'm trying to make a good first impression.  And somehow transfer to the world via the internet that I have at least a semblance of intelligence.  Which will hopefully inspire communication.  I know that not everyone possesses this extreme love of comma placement, appreciates the lost art of the semicolon and comes alive at the challenge of out-thinking a thesaurus.  But, how can I take anyone seriously who cannot, at the very least, spell check the name of his own profession?!

The more I thought about this, the more I realized that I'm probably simply diverting my lack of desire to go anywhere near online dating again towards an inability to find anyone above an eighth grade reading level.  More than likely, I'm just looking for reasons to continue avoiding it altogether and poor spelling and grammar are...well...easy targets.  I won't see past them unless I want to.  And right now, I think I'm happy to be a self-righteous, but thankfully grammatically correct, Singleton.

1 comment:

  1. I completely, 100% understand the inability to get part the spelling and grammar errors in an online dater's profile. I'm an editor by profession, so that doesn't help either. Of course, everyone makes errors, but significant and obvious errors either point to a lack of proofreading (ie, not putting much effort into the whole online dating thing) or someone less intelligent.

    And, as you so aptly point out, not being able to see past simple problems like this is a symptom of distrust with meeting people through online dating. Which I have totally felt.


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