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7 ways to maximize your online dating profile with the power of words
Men who used the word "whom" get 31 percent more contacts
 
Thom Yorke is a online-dating seller! Mention "Radiohead."
Thom Yorke is a online-dating seller! Mention "Radiohead." (Matt Cardy/Getty Images) 

Last month, Wired did a study of dating profiles with the help of OkCupid and Match.com in order to assemble some tips on writing the perfect profile. Here are seven things they discovered from crunching the numbers on the words people use in their dating profiles.

1. A MELLOW ATHLETIC VIBE WORKS WELL

The top five words used in male profiles with the highest average attractiveness ratings project a vibe that's fit, but laid back: surfing, surf, yoga, skiing, the ocean. The ladies also do well with the mellow athletic vibe, but with a dash of urban sophistication thrown in. The top five in women's profiles: surfing, yoga, athlete, London, NYC.

2. A RELIGIOUS ONE, NOT SO MUCH

The word "God" got low ratings across the board.

3. WORK OUTSIDE GENDER STEREOTYPES

The words "my children"? Very attractive in a man's profile. Not so attractive in a woman's. "Electronics," on the other hand, worked very well for the ladies and not so well for the guys.

4. TALK ABOUT RADIOHEAD

Like the hot people do. That was the highest scoring band name.

5. TALK ABOUT CATS, BUT DON'T MENTION YOUR OWN

The word "cats" was ranked pretty high, but "my cats" — not so attractive.

6. A DOUBLE STANDARD FOR MEN AND WOMEN ON GIRLS

Men's profiles did better if they used the word "women" instead of "girls." But women did a bit better if they referred to themselves as girls.

7. WHOM IS HOT

Men who used the word "whom" get 31 percent more contacts. Whom does this surprise? Not The Week readers, of course, for whom nothing is sexier than a deftly wielded objective case.

Read more about the Wired study here.

 
Arika Okrent is editor-at-large at TheWeek.com and a frequent contributor to Mental Floss. She is the author of In the Land of Invented Languages, a history of the attempt to build a better language. She holds a doctorate in linguistics and a first-level certification in Klingon.

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