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What Does Your Car Say About Your Writing Skills?

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Until the DMV starts including an essay section on the written test, you’ll still be able to get your license without perfect grammar and spelling. However, according to Grammarly, improving your writing skills can make it a lot easier to sell your car. As a matter of fact, in a recent survey of 200 vehicle for-sale postings on AutoTrader.com, the Grammarly team found that certain automobile features are more likely to be linked with spelling and grammar mistakes.

Do you drive a hatchback? Drivers of hatchbacks are the most likely to make writing errors, Grammarly found. At an average of 13.9 errors per 100 words, drivers of these sporty yet economical vehicles miss the mark when communicating in writing. Though popular in Europe, the hatchback has been considered a low-end vehicle in the United States. “The hatchback body style has never really flown with American car-shoppers,” writes Matthew Phenix for Wired Magazine. “But there’s little doubt that given a bit more financial reach, most of the people who buy such cars would likely opt up to a traditional two-door coupe, a sedan, or an SUV.”

Do you drive a minivan? Drivers of minivans are the least likely to make errors in their ads. With just 1.4 mistakes per 100 words, family-friendly minivans might not be the coolest car on the road, but they continue to live up to their reputation as reliable. According to Brie Cadman, drivers of minivans are “more likely to live in the suburbs, be females, homemakers, and aged forty-one to sixty-four, and – surprise, surprise – have children.”

What color is your car? Not only are black, gray, and blue cars most likely to get stolen, but they’re also the car colors that have the highest percentage of errors in postings. On the other end of the spectrum, the owners of beige and tan cars are much more likely to exhibit good writing skills. Grammarly also found that two-door coupes have twice as many errors as four-door sedans, and that drivers of manual transmission cars are half as likely to make mistakes as those who drive automatic.

While the consequences of bad driving are much more serious than bad writing, the tips for improving both are the same: take it slow, pay attention, and put down the cell phone. Here are five common mistakes to strike from your writing:

1. Apostrophes are for possessives, not plurals. Example: Jimmy’s cars, not Jimmy’s car’s.

2. They’re, Their, and There are all different words. Example: They’re going to drive their rusted-out Chevy to the junkyard and leave it there.

3. Loose is not the same thing as Lose. Example: This hose is loose and may cause you to lose coolant.

4. Don’t confuse Your and You’re. Example: You’re going to love your new car!

5. Don’t text and drive, and don’t write like you text. Texting has its time and place, but it doesn’t belong behind the wheel or in your everyday writing.

Good writing gives a sense of authority and conveys information clearly and quickly—and in ad copy, these qualities are key to making a sale. So, whether there’s a sporty black coupe in your driveway, or a bright blue hatchback, you may want to pay extra attention to your spelling and grammar. While owners of these cars are statistically more like to make grammar errors, a little extra time and attention can have you writing like the driver of a beige minivan.

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