Are You A "Grammar Nazi"? Here's What That Reveals About Your Personality


Tom Hale

Tom is a writer in London with a Master's degree in Journalism whose editorial work covers anything from health and the environment to technology and archaeology.

Senior Journalist

738 Are You A "Grammar Nazi"? Here's What That Reveals About Your Personality
B Calkins/Shutterstock

We’ve all come across those kinds of people who are overly picky with apostrophes and typos. But according to a recent study, being a “grammar Nazi” could reveal something unexpected about your personality.

The study, published in PLOS One, was carried out by linguists Julie Boland and Robin Queen.


They gathered together 83 native English-speakers and asked them to read adverts for a housemate. Some of the ads contained typos and grammar mistakes while others were perfectly written. They were then asked to assess what they thought of their prospective housemate with questions such as “Do they seem friendly?” and “Do they seem conscientious?”

After that, the participants were asked to carry out the "Big Five" personality trait questionnaire to assess all the facets of their personality. The results showed that the people who tended to think less of their prospective housemate because of their typos also tended to be more introverted, which was defined as somebody who is more at ease being by themselves and often takes pleasure in solitude.

Robin Queen of the University of Michigan told The Guardian: "I found myself asking: this is weird – why would it be the case that introverts care more? My guess is that introverts have more sensitivity to variability.

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


  • tag
  • psychology,

  • spelling,

  • linguistics,

  • grammar