Are You A "Grammar Nazi"? You're Probably An Introvert, Says Study

Are You A "Grammar Nazi"? You're Probably An Introvert, Says Study

Is bad grammar one of your pet peeves? You're in good company.

Do typos and grammar mistakes annoy you? Have you been called out as a grammar or spelling nazi? You might be relieved to hear that you are in good company. A study conducted by linguists at the University of Michigan has revealed that being particular about grammar and spelling could be one of many introvert traits.

The study found that introverts get more triggered by typos and grammatical mistakes than their fellow extroverts. Now, being a stickler for spelling and grammar accuracy is not necessarily a bad thing, although excessively, it could be. Many introverts are so turned off by bad grammar that they don’t even want to live with people who commit them!

Now, read on below for the study and further understand why introverts are more likely to be annoyed by your spelling and grammar mistakes, and reasonably so.

Grammar Policing Connected To Introvert Traits 

In the grammar/typo study, linguists Julie Boland and Robin Queen shared emails acting as responses to a listing seeking a roommate, with some eloquently written ones and the rest full of typos and grammar mistakes.   

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Out of all 80 diverse participants, they found out that introverts tend to rate people more unfavorably than extroverts and assumed that those with bad grammar or spelling were poor roommates. So in a nutshell, bad grammar is a dealbreaker for many introverts.

The study also took into account respondents’ Big Five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism). Not surprisingly, agreeable people overlooked mistakes more than conscientious types. Also, those low in agreeableness lack kindness and a sense of empathy, and would harshly judge mistakes, regardless of whether they are introverted or extroverted.

But funnily, it did not matter how neurotic one is, as they were all equally annoyed by grammar and spelling mistakes.

Why Grammar/ Typo Mistakes Bother Introverts 

Not all introverts are disagreeable, so this begs the question: why do grammar and spelling errors annoy the heck out of them?

“We hadn’t quite anticipated that introversion would have the effect it did,” Queen told The Guardian. Certainly, the linguist researchers were surprised by how the findings linked to introvert traits.

As a linguist, Queen is not a personality expert and cannot comment on why introversion resulted in the individual being more annoyed by mistakes. But one theory she came up with could be attributed to the introvert’s heightened sensitivity to variability from the norm. “My guess is that introverts have more sensitivity to variability,” she said. So because typo and grammar need extra processing, they’re more likely to get introverts fired up.

With a natural tendency to get overwhelmed and overstimulated, introverts easily suffer from social burnout. Akin to a hangover, this makes introverts easily uncomfortable just by the need to process a mistake, even though it demanded only a slight increase in their arousal.

“Maybe there’s something about extroverts that makes them less bothered by it,” Queen said. “Because extroverts enjoy variability and engaging with people. They find that energizing. This could be an indirect manifestation of that.”

READ: An Introvert’s Guide To Mingling, Small Talk, And Making New Friends

(Featured image: Pexels)

Written by

Melia Widjaja