USA Today reports that according to a new study by the grammar-checking app Grammarly, Facebook supporters of Democratic presidential candidates display larger vocabularies and better grammar than Facebook users who support Republican candidates.
The study reached their conclusions after analyzing Facebook comments on each of the presidential candidate’s Facebook pages. The comments were evaluated for misspellings, wrong and missing punctuation, misused or missing words, and subject-verb disagreement, as well as vocabulary usage. The analysts assessed only “positive” and “neutral” comments, reducing the likelihood that they would include comments of trolls and the candidate’s detractors in their results.
The study found that Democratic supporters had 22 percent larger vocabularies than GOP backers. The Democrats averaged 300 unique words per 1,000 words, while Republicans used just 245 unique words per 1,000.
The disparity between Democrats and Republicans on using correct grammar was even more pronounced than their differences in vocabulary. Grammarly found that Republican supporters butchered the English language at more than double the rate of Democratic supporters. Republicans averaged 8.7 mistakes per 100 words, while Democrats made just 4.2 errors per 100 words.
Donald Trump supporters proved to be the most grammatically challenged, averaging a whopping 12.6 mistakes per 100 words. At the opposite extreme, supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee made a mere 3.1 mistakes per 100 words. Jim Webb and Bernie Sanders supporters were not far behind, averaging just 3.4 and 3.7 errors per 100 words respectively.
Hillary Clinton supporters averaged the most mistakes on the Democratic side at 6.3 errors per 100 words. Supporters of all five Democratic candidates showed better use of grammar than supporters of any Republican candidate, although supporters of Carly Fiorina tied with Clinton supporters in making just 6.3 errors per 100 words.
For Democrats who have long been frustrated by right-wing debaters who consistently mangle grammar and seem to have a limited vocabulary, the study validates what liberals have known all along. Conservatives who want to make English the nation’s official language should brush up on their own use of the language instead of passing discriminatory ”English only” legislation.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.