The ever-growing popularity of searching for love via the Internet stresses many when it comes to crafting the perfect online dating profile. But let’s be honest: Many users aren’t looking for love. (My apologies to the hopeless romantic) So what does it take to attract more responses? Well, for gentlemen in particular, it may be as simple as the language they use. It’s true, fellas. According to Wired magazine, using the pronoun “whom” yields 31 percent more contacts from the opposite sex.
Along with various tips on setting up the “perfect” profile, such as choosing the right photo, the magazine teamed up with dating websites Match.com and OkCupid to pore over 1,000 of the most popular words used in both men’s and women’s dating profiles to determine just what influenced communication. The data showed that it was 28 percent better for men to refer to females as “women,” and females were 16 percent more attractive when they used “girl” to describe themselves. So, what about that 31 percent for men who used “whom”?
Well, it turns out that using the pronoun does perhaps play a role in getting men laid. But are women actually attracted to “whom” and its correct usage? Probably not. It’s safe to assume women are probably just attracted to men who appear to be more intelligent. As Slate notes: “Wired didn't check the syntactic contexts. They simply counted whoms.” So what are some other online dating tips for men? Don’t post photos posing with buddies. Women will most definitely compare you to your friend, says AskMen. The photos should also be accurate — no one likes surprises. Perhaps, even writing up a bold intro can grab her attention. Show some flair in your writing, and perhaps… well, even use the pronoun “whom.” But use it correctly.
In case you’re wondering, the rule of thumb for remembering how to use “whom” correctly is, simply put, to "...use 'who' for the subject of a relative clause and 'whom' for the object," according to The New York Times associate managing editor for standards, Philip B. Corbett, who is also in charge of the style manual. (Who in that case because the relative clause "who is also in charge of the style manual" is modifying Corbett.) He breaks down the fundamentals in an “After Deadline” post. Take one of his examples where "who" should be "whom":
The team of advance workers and aides involved in planning the rollout — timed to galvanize Democratic voters as Mr. Obama heads to Denver next week for the party convention — have not been told who Mr. Obama will be selecting.
This is simple; make it “whom.” (If it were an ordinary pronoun rather than a relative pronoun, we would say, “Mr. Obama will be selecting him,” not “Mr. Obama will be selecting he.”)
For an in-depth rundown of all forms of usage, visit Slate. Learn it and master it, gentlemen, because apparently using it attracts women — but it would be nice if you knew how.