Recently I discovered a wonderful tool for editing text. If, like me, the written word matters to you, try the applications available at https://www.grammarly.com/ An extension for Chrome based browsers is available in the app store.
Grammarly is a spell checker, punctuation checker, and a grammar checker all in one easy, intuitive programme. If you read my columns, you know that I fuss over words and phrases to get them right. I make changes several times after publication. I should point out, from the outset, that I have no connection with the creators of Grammarly directly or indirectly but I can confirm that these applications are excellent. I don’t intend this post to read like an advertisement though it has begun that way, but Grammarly has a free version and a paid one that deserve a try.
My experience with spell checkers hasn’t been happy. They seem inclined to favour (yes, not favor) American English to the extent that British (Canadian) spellings are highlighted as errors. Grammarly doesn’t mark British spellings, which endears itself to me and the Oxford Comma is accepted as if it is understood. You can imagine my excitement!
It blends with Microsoft Office and WordPress blogs highlighting errors, providing explanations, and a one click fix. There is an ‘ignore’ option if you disagree with the explanation offered. I have a tendency to use too many commas; Grammarly picks them out. It can mark plural subject nouns with plural verbs as errors so you need to read the notations carefully. It marks the dot with ‘Dr.’ as a misused period, rather than an accepted abbreviation and it marks ‘misused’ as a spelling error, though it isn’t. It underlines ‘in correct English’ as an error for ‘incorrect English;’ both may be correct depending on the context in which the phrases are being used. My sentence used under the tab “About this blog” is this: [‘Check’ is a verb with a different meaning that Americans use as equivalent. Other examples are ‘license,’ which is a verb, and ‘licence,’ which is a noun; the spelling changes according to grammar in correct English, but American English ignores this practice.]
Grammarly is a work ‘in progress’ but it rises to a level that deserves attention. It does what it says it does, which is progress for spell checkers but you may find yourself questioning the rules of grammar on which the applications are based but maybe that is a good thing. I don’t think that Grammarly takes the place of a human editor with a sharp eye and cranky personality but it does make the editing process easier and faster.
Professional. Retired. Canadian.