We all know that the type of car you drive can give a lot of clues to who you are. It can suggest how much money you make, your family status, your age, your job, where you live, your favorite color, and more. Well, it turns out, your choice of car can also give people an idea of whether you know how to write. The folks at grammarly.com checked the spelling, grammar, and punctuation in 200 ads on autotrader.com to see how many mistakes drivers made in their vehicle descriptions. Their results may surprise you.
Grammarly found that hatchback drivers made more mistakes (13.9 per 100 words) on average than any other type of driver. Drivers of vans and minivans made an average of only 1.4 mistakes per 100 words, less than any other category included in the survey. A driver of a neutral colored beige car would probably make around 3.6 mistakes versus a flashy yellow car, which had an average of 7 mistakes per 100 words. Two-door drivers made nearly twice as many mistakes as four-door; the same numbers also applied to manual versus automatic drivers.
So presumably, on one end of the spectrum, drivers of brightly colored, two-door, manual transmission hatchbacks make the most mistakes per 100 words in their ads (would an ad for such a car even be comprehensible?) On the other end are those with neutral colored, automatic transmission vans or minivans, who--statistically speaking--should be the nation’s finest writers.
Why do these correlations exist? It’s hard to say. Minivans are more expensive than most smaller cars, so maybe those drivers are more educated and thus make more money. Hatchbacks are more popular abroad than in the United States, so perhaps many hatchback owners are originally from other countries and are not native English speakers. As for the finding that drivers of brightly colored cars make more mistakes than those of neutral colored cars, it could be that those drivers are more reserved in personality and more careful with their writing. This is all just speculation, of course—the potential explanations are endless.
Does your choice of car convey your writing ability accurately? Personally, I drive a purple hatchback. I hope my editors don’t find out.
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