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Grammar Checkers

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Ned Marcus, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

    What are your experiences with grammar checkers? Like Grammerly or Pro Writing Aid or others. I've never used one, but I've heard there are good points, but also that they can introduce mistakes if taken literally (which I wouldn't do). I don't want a replacement to an editor (no way) but I want to research possible ways to cut down on mistakes.

    Edit. I've just noticed there's a writers resources forum section. Mods, please move if you think that's more appropriate. Sorry for missing that.
  2. LAG

    LAG Minstrel

    I have access to a grammarly pro account in my work. I can say this: feature rich, you can toggle it to scan through and offer a whole bunch of directions etc. etc. their marketing division will probably spin this better. it detects passive voice, repeated/unclear pronouns, repeated words, split infinitives, preposition endings et cetera.

    My advice? Download grammarly, but don't go pro. The normal checker spots your and and and your donts and your mispelings. I needs an internet connection to function, which is a con, and I suggest fixing spelling errors in scrivener/word/libre then ctrl+p-ing into grammalry, as it can be laggish(but that might just be my substandard third world internet dragging ass)

    But yeah, grammarly without the doodangles and the extra dollars spent is decent, but even in pro, it wont see things that only a human brain will know just plain makes no sense. Give the piece a thorough read, as is a given; but it's still a swift way to pick up glaring errors.
    Ned Marcus likes this.
  3. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    I like grammarly and pro writing aid. Nothing is perfect, not even human editors, BUT some editors will charge less for a cleaner MS... So! That’s a bonus. I like the statistical features of PWA, as much for entertainment value as usefulness, heh heh. “You have 0 slow passages” Excellent! Overused words and whatnot was more useful early on, but I’m much better at catching stuff like that now than I was. Good stuff, especially since I bought the lifetime membership super cheap when first introduced.
    Ned Marcus likes this.
  4. Chasejxyz

    Chasejxyz Troubadour

    Any spell/grammar checker can introduce errors if you use them blindly. A lot of grammar is kinda subjective; like I just used a semicolon there, it's technically correct, but would a period have been better? Or a comma? IS an interrobang ever acceptable‽ So picking up a grammar/style book that explains why things are the way they are is a good idea.
    Anyways, Grammarly, even just the free version (cause I don't feel like paying for it lol) is pretty good. It usually catches things like homophones, overly-wordiness, extra spaces or forgetting periods...stuff that happens when you type really fast. It's great for Outlook, but beware that if your MS Word doc is Really Big it makes it REALLY slow.
    Speaking of Microsoft Word's spell/grammar check is also really good. Go into the options and turn on things like style, too, if it should check for oxford commas etc...It does a really good job, but most people aren't aware that stuff is there.
    Scrivener doesn't have a grammar checker (at least in the Windows version, I know the Mac version has more features, but it's dumb to have a worse version for the more popular operating system) which I cannot fathom why, and its spellcheck dictionary is horrendous. It's missing a ton of words, but it has "transgendered" and not "transgender"? I have no idea what's going on with it, it's a real bummer because so many other parts of Scrivener is so good.
    Also, if you're being traditionally published, you do not pay for an editor. You only need to pay for an editor if you have 0 faith in your own skills to grammar good, or if you're self-publishing. Of course, if you have a TON of major errors, then you're just giving agents a reason to pass you up, but any beta reader is going to point that stuff out to you. What you submit doesn't have to be perfect (hell, what makes it onto the shelves isn't perfect), but it should be Pretty Good. Going through Grammarly or Word's spellcheck will get you, like, 70-80% of the way there.
    Ned Marcus likes this.
  5. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    I use Stylewriter. I don't treat it as gospel. I just use it to point out things that I might want to double check on.
  6. Mad Swede

    Mad Swede Sage

    Given that I'm severely dyslexic I use specialist software in the form of Claro Read and Stava Rex. They work well for me, but it takes time to "train" the software. You should bear in mind that correct grammar is not quite the same as good style; some people hate split infinitives and will insist they're bad grammar, but overlook the fact that they can make for better readability. The other thing to bear in mind is that few or no software packages will catch correctly spelled but incorrectly used words (bare instead of bear, for example), so finding a good proof reader is still essential.
    LAG likes this.
  7. Electric Bone Flute

    Electric Bone Flute Minstrel

    I invent very many words ad hoc, like "slimpled" or "bonecrab" (always words that look like they could be plain English words, to prevent annoyance), so spelling checkers disagree with me. I love the way that Google Docs will get used to a word and stop correcting it if you continually spell an out-of-vocabulary word the same way, and even correct you if you don't. You don't have to manually Add To Dictionary or Learn Spelling.
    LAG likes this.

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