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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Correct Grammar Made Easier | English Writing Area Voices

Jennings writes, after noting that "Correct grammar matters" because errors can leave a wrong impression or misunderstanding [emphasis added]:
We have to admit, though, that not everyone can be good at grammar. But with many online grammar check tools available now, this should not be a problem anymore. All one needs to do is have their text checked for any grammatical errors and edit them, as necessary.
She explains that online grammar checking tools scan your text and identify possible errors in some language structures, punctuation and spelling. She then describes a number of tools and provides easy links to them.

Jennings emphasizes that the tools are easy to use, but what dismayed me is that she did not warn readers to be careful when using these tools. These tools use artificial intelligence with built-in "equations" for evaluating the words and parts of speech in sentences, spelling, punctuation and so on.

But those equations can't and don't decipher all the idiosyncratic twists and turns in grammar, style and word usage that a writer might make. So the tool might mark something as an error when it's not. And it might miss errors. Actually, replace might with will in that previous sentence.

Thus, writers must check the checker and make sure the changes it's recommending make sense. If the suggested change reads funny or sounds awkward, it's likely making an error rather than fixing one.
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