Since we launched our NFL Grammar Power Rankings (followed by MLB and college football), sports fans and journalists alike have urged us: “Do basketball next!” Basketball season has finally arrived, so we put NBA fans to the grammar test.
Who’s shooting bricks and who’s getting nothin’ but net when it comes to grammar, spelling, and punctuation? We began by collecting the first five comments posted under articles on each official SB Nation NBA team blog until we’d gathered a total of 100 comments (of 50 words or more) for each team. Using Grammarly’s algorithms, we identified the errors, and then a team of live proofreaders verified and tallied them. We counted only black-and-white mistakes such as misspellings, wrong and missing punctuation, misused or missing words, and subject-verb disagreement.
To avoid skewing the rankings, we didn’t penalize catchphrases like “da Bulls,” Internet lingo, common slang, team nicknames, or stylistic variations like serial comma usage. Finally, we calculated the average number of mistakes per one hundred words by dividing the total word count of the comments by the total number of mistakes for each team.
The Upper Midwest scored a win, with the Minnesota Timberwolves coming in on top and Wisconsin’s Milwaukee Bucks landing at third. The Denver Nuggets pulled in just behind the Wolves at second. The Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Utah Jazz didn’t fare as well, landing in the bottom three.
Despite coming in twelfth overall, Knicks fans had the most diverse vocabularies, using twenty-five unique words per one hundred words. Check out our infographic to find out where your team’s fan base ranked and even learn a few of their favorite words.
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