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It’s a given that one of the things women find sexiest in a man is intelligence. But the findings of a new study suggest that it goes even deeper than that.

All of you wordsmiths out there will be pleased to learn that women prefer men who jazz up their compliments with metaphors over their more literal counterparts.  Researchers at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China came to this conclusion after surveying 116 straight female college students, who detailed how they feel about compliments from men.

They were shown facial photos of 140 men which also contained compliments from them. Each of the compliments was either metaphorical or literal, and the men who used metaphors were found to be more attractive. For example: “Your eyes are remind me of the emerald waters of a tropical sea” versus “Your eyes are hot.”

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The study concludes that the rationale behind this preference is that metaphorical language is indicative of both intelligence and creativity, a combination that women find a little more attractive than simply being a smart dude.

“We tend to form very rapid impressions about a person’s attractiveness in social contexts and thus from women, cues from language during initial encounters may provide a rapid first assessment of a potential mate’s intellectual and creative abilities,” the authors wrote.

All that said, having a strong command of the language may not be enough. Being highly selective with your word choice is advisable. Remember, a douchebag is still a douchebag no matter how eloquent he is.

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