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The Short Version: When you’re talking to someone online, all you have is the text on the screen. You can’t rely on nonverbal forms of communication to get your point across, and that can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications, and missed opportunities if you’re not careful. Many online daters find it difficult to make a good impression using only the written word, but sometimes turning their luck around on a dating site is as simple as running a message through a spellchecker. Dictionary.com can help daters up the caliber of their messages by eliminating misspellings, defining slang words, and suggesting synonyms that convey greater meaning. Online daters can use this free tool to find the right words to say exactly what they mean in their profiles and messages. You don’t have to be a linguist or a grammar Nazi to benefit from Dictionary.com’s informative tools and engaging articles. We all use words every day, and we could all use some help translating what is in our hearts and minds into clear terms.
I call myself “an unabashed bibliophile” in my dating profile because it’s an easy literary litmus test to give date prospects. If they use the term in their messages, I can quickly tell which guys have read a book or can work a dictionary, and I can block the guys who are convinced being a bibliophile has something to do with the Bible. The big words in my profile act, essentially, as a gatekeeper to help me find people who have the vocabulary to match mine.
One time a savvy online dater knew exactly how to get in my good graces. “Hey, fellow bibliophile. I have a question for you,” he wrote in his initial message to me. “What are your all-time favorite words?” Be still, my nerdy heart. This guy had taken my lingual enthusiasm to another level by asking me not about my favorite books or movies but my favorite words.
At that point, it didn’t matter to me if he had known what bibliophile meant or had looked it up. He’d picked up on something that was important to me and asked an original question to get the conversation going. He had said the magic words, and, as they say in sports, it was a slam dunk.
When you’re online dating, the words you choose matter a great deal, and not just to word nerds like me. You don’t have body language or tone to convey your meaning, so you have to make sure your words send the right message, literally, and make a good impression.
Dictionary.com can help with that. This online collection of definitions, synonyms, and word origins is a treasure trove for online daters wondering what to say — or how to spell what they want to say. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to give their words a quick polish before clicking send on a dating site.
“Finding the right word to use isn’t always just about what the word means, but what it conveys about you, your personality, your background,” said Lauren Sliter, Senior Manager of Marketing and Content Strategy for Dictionary.com. “Word choice is very intimate.”
Dictionary.com can provide relevant context for online daters, especially beginners, seeking romance or love. The site has an Everything After Z section where an eloquent team breaks down the hottest trends in the world of language. If you come across a word, phrase, an acronym, or emoji you don’t know while online dating, you can run it by Dictionary.com to bring some clarity to the situation.
Some articles focus on particular words, like wife beaters or ghosting, while others list popular slang terms complete with example sentences. “Cracking the Code of Millennial Slang” explains how certain words have taken on new meaning, so when someone says “Get that boy some milk” or “I need some tea,” they don’t mean a run to the grocery store is in order. “Milk” is a slang term meaning help or self-improvement, while “tea” means gossip.
Knowing what popular slang terms and emojis mean can help you avoid the embarrassment of asking a new acquaintance what the heck they’re talking about, and it can give you a vibrant, trendy vocabulary to whip out on the fly.
Whether you’re interested in regional rap slang or somewhat obscure political jargon, you can read through Dictionary.com’s slang section to get a handle on notable words of the day.
Language is always changing. Every day, speech patterns grow and evolve based on the speakers of the day, so what was hip yesterday may not be so cool today. Some words or phrases explode in popularity thanks to music, video games, memes, and other pop culture influences, and some slang terms seem to come out of nowhere.
And some words never go out of style. Dictionary.com does a yearly review of its web traffic, and “love” is always among the top 20 most searched words on the website. Maybe some people want to use the dictionary definition of love for a declaration of love or marriage proposal, and maybe some people just want to know what it means to love someone.
People have been asking “What is love?” for centuries. They’ve written cheesy ’80s songs about it. They’ve looked it up online. Yet its profound mystery and allure remains.
According to Dictionary.com, the origin of the word “love” traces back to the Latin verb for “to be pleasing.” It has taken on more significant meaning as people have lived and loved, and you can learn about its nuances by referencing its online dictionary entry.
Crafting a good message to an online crush doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Chances are, you’ll delete as many words as you type before hitting send. It’s not easy to know what to say and how to introduce yourself. Do you go for a cheesy line? A simple greeting? A barrage of questions? Should the message be long and detailed or short and sweet? There’s no one right way to go about it because different people like different things.
When you’re writing a message on a dating site, it helps to have an online tool at your disposal to recommend relevant words and check your spelling. Singles can use Dictionary.com to put their best word forward every time they log on. It could be as easy as coming up with a unique greeting other than “Hi” to grab someone’s attention. OkCupid found that singles who say “Howdy” or “Hola” are more likely to receive responses than singles who go for the more common “Hi,” “Hey,” or “Hello.”
Certain words can be turn-offs because they’re overused or used incorrectly. Studies indicate that a majority of singles judge people with bad grammar, so it’s probably a good idea to go ahead and write out “you” rather than lazily typing “u.”
All in all, it’s important for singles in the dating scene to be aware of their word choice and the signals it can send to others.
Looking up a few synonyms could give you an edge the next time you send a message. Instead of using common words that get bandied about all the time on a dating site, you can make yourself stand out in a good way by using less common synonyms — just don’t take it too far.
For example, swapping out “pretty” for “charming” is a good move, but trading “grab a drink” for “obtain a beverage” is probably going to lose you some points because it just doesn’t sound natural. It sounds like you’re using a dictionary, which isn’t the goal of using a dictionary.
“The fact is, not everyone cares about grammar and spelling, and that’s okay,” said Jane Solomon, Dictionary.com’s Linguist-in-Residence. “People who care about grammar are going to notice if someone uses ‘their’ instead of ‘they’re,’ and people who don’t won’t.”
Ultimately, Dictionary.com is on a mission to help people feel more comfortable using the English language so that they can be more confident and talkative when approaching someone new. The website can offer guidance during your online flirtation, but the team urged singles not to stress over every word and every comma they use while online.
It’s better to be yourself and speak naturally than put your message through a thesaurus. Your words should reflect who you are, and that authenticity will attract compatible folks.
Whether you want to increase the reading level of your dating profile or make sure your messages can pass a spellcheck, Dictionary.com is a helpful tool for online daters looking for the words to win someone’s trust and affection. This website is there for those times when you blank on a word or want to be sure you understand what you’re saying. From start to finish, Dictionary.com can provide meaningful support to online daters wondering how to express their interest, excitement, or admiration in the most compelling way possible.
Of course, you don’t have to whip out highfalutin vocabulary to impress the average person — you just have to communicate your thoughts clearly and bring up engaging conversation topics. That doesn’t mean indiscriminately asking people about their favorite words. Not every online dater can wax poetic about their love of language, but they undoubtedly have buzzwords scattered throughout their profiles to tell you what will get them talking.
If you read with care and write with intent, you can set yourself up for success in the online dating scene. All it takes is the right word said at the right time to start a conversation brimming with romantic possibilities.
“Using correct grammar and spelling, I think, is less about intelligence and education and more about the willingness to spend the time reviewing your words before making them public,” Lauren said. “It’s about taking care with how you communicate, and that’s pretty sexy.”