Why Everyone on Tinder Is an ‘Oxford Comma Enthusiast’

A series of hearts separated by commas

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On an internet occupied by as many finger-wagging “grammar Nazis” as slovenly texters who prefer emoji to verbal displays of emotion, the Oxford comma has become a cause célèbre. This is especially true on dating apps, where many users have deemed the punctuation mark something they “can’t live without”—a designation that’s put it in the same lofty category as cheese, the beach, and Game of Thrones.

Also known as the serial comma, the Oxford comma is the one that goes before “and” (or “or”) in a list of three or more things: “The American flag is red, white, and blue.” Fans of the Oxford comma think it prevents ambiguity.

Recently, the Oxford comma has found a spot on the Bingo card of online-dating profiles, alongside mainstays like “no hookups,” “no drama,” and “420 friendly.” Whether you’re mindlessly grazing on Tinder or Bumble, OkCupid or Match.com, you’re now as likely to learn someone’s thoughts on the Oxford comma as you are their job title or their penchant for tacos. On the Tinder subreddit, which has 1.8 million subscribers, one user lamented that the Oxford comma features in “like a quarter of bios ’round my parts.” Another said, “It’s everywhere.”

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You Up? College in the Age of Tinder

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Dating apps may have killed the college dating scene. Because it’s so easy to swipe left or right on a seemingly endless pile of potential partners, it’s become harder to actually meet anyone. As students, we are told over and over that college is a time for us to expand our social groups, to meet new people and grow into adults. But the indecisiveness that is built into dating app culture can stunt us — we’re trapped in an endless cycle of swipes! Commitment, already a scary concept to many, becomes even more difficult with the false illusion that the dating possibilities are endless.

Frankly, dating apps can also just make things incredibly awkward.

While single students at Mercer University use dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, Snapchat reigns as the most eye-roll-eliciting app for sparking college romance. To know if Brian is interested in a serious relationship or a casual fling, read the time stamp on his flirtatious Snapchat message. The same Snap asking to “hang out” sent at 2 p.m. can have a completely different meaning when sent at 2 a.m.

The Tinderization of the NBA

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Since the late 1980s, the winning percentage of road teams has been rising in the NBA. After speaking to dozens of players, coaches, and team officials, Tom Haberstroh found a fairly accepted answer: “NBA players are sleeping more and drinking less”. Players are taking their careers more seriously and partying less on the road while transportation coordination has improved. Ubiquitous cameras and big sponsorships keep bad behavior in check. An additional factor is that with apps like Tinder and Instagram, companionship can be delivered to a player’s hotel room like Seamless or Postmates without the need to drink at the club for a few hours beforehand.

Love me Tinder – tales from the frontline of modern dating

Illustration by Nishant Choksi

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The worst part of online dating is the first awkward face-to-face hello. Your preconception of the person you have been speaking to is always very oddly different to whoever it is you meet. And I also seem to make my mind up very quickly on how the night will go.

I once heard a story about a man who turns up to dates early and buys himself a drink, so that when the girl arrives, he can send her up to the bar to get a drink and do a runner if he thinks they aren’t up to his exacting standards. That’s almost a reason to give up.

One evening, I started speaking to a man – really interesting, engaging, all very effortless – and after three hours of constant messaging, we arranged a drink for the next day. He asked for my number – taking messaging off Tinder is a big deal – and then texted at 5pm to ask me where we should go. I texted back suggesting a bar, washed my hair and never heard back from him.

 

Your romantic first dates? Restaurants hate them.

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Your awkward first date can amuse restaurant staff. But other patrons may not be that delighted. And because every seat is a piece of money-making real estate, the dozens of dates you’ve gone on this year may also be affecting many businesses’ bottom line.

Particularly when daters stare into their phones for 30 minutes without ordering, waiting for their match to turn up. And when they spend another two hours talking about their childhood and lactose intolerance while nursing a single, happy-hour-priced beer.

As the number of first dates taking place every night explodes — Tinder alone purports to generate 1.3 million dates per week — it’s transforming restaurants in numerous ways, affecting their ambience, their table timing, even the way they’re designed.

The Tinder Dating Pool Isn’t Completely Shallow

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Yes, they swiped right and met the one — with hardly a cheap rendezvous in sight, even though Tinder, the ubiquitous mobile-dating app, has been written off by some observers as nothing more than a vehicle to promote quick and easy hookups.

And what may surprise some cynics is that Tinder is also landing spouses for more than a few of its users, including a number who have been featured in the Vows section of The New York Times.

“Three years ago, Tinder was considered a hookup app,” said Julie Spira, an online and mobile dating coach based in Los Angeles, who advises her clients to go on three dating sites, including Tinder, if they’re serious about meeting someone. “Now people are joining Tinder because it’s efficient and easy to use, and everyone seems to be on it.”

Thanks to Tinder’s lowbrow reputation, some couples have lied to friends and family members about how they met. Mrs. Andrews admits that she and her husband told people they met at a bar when they first started dating. “We worried they wouldn’t take us as seriously,” she said.