1. I’m a 2nd generation grammar geek, university grad, been scribbling since I was a wee toad and still find clangers in columns or posts I was sure I’d polished before submitting. This sounds like a simple way to weed out the blind spots we all have.
    There is such a thing as personal expresion that transcends grammatical restrictions but it is necessary to know the rule before it can be bent to personal style. Otherwise it draws attention away from the message. And it is always a good idea to learn/relearn the rules.
    Thanks for reviewing Grammarly – I see a lot of products out there but have limited resources to commit. This helps.


  2. Thanks for the review, Rachel. I signed up for the free trial and ran a chapter I had revised several times for grammar and spelling through the program. Grammarly found many errors that Word missed or misinterpreted.

    I agree with you that for fiction or more creative writing that tends to break grammar rules, Grammarly will waste one’s time by highlighting a writer’s intentional mistakes, such as dialogue where a character speaks ungrammatically. Better to err on the side of overcorrecting, though.

    I’ll try it out with as many chapters as I can run through the program during the trial period and see if it results in a better manuscript and is worth my time and effort(and money!).

  3. Follow up to my previous post. I signed up for the free 7-day trial of Grammarly and gave it what I thought to be a thorough test. I can see how it would be very useful for students, teachers, researchers, and those writing most anything but creative fiction. I think it’s lacking intuitiveness for the modern creative writer. I tested it in ‘creative’ mode, which supposedly gives the program the most casual parameters with which to correct the submitted prose.

    I found Grammerly ‘creative mode’ had basic problems with interpreting contractions, which caused several different kinds of problems. As an example, when it evaluated any sentence with a contracted pronoun, such as I’ll for “I will”, the program automatically flags the subsequent verb (I’ll go with you.) as in the wrong tense since it sees “I’ll” as a noun without a contracted verb. So it wants me to correct that sentence this way. “I’ll goes with you.” Singular noun followed by a plural verb.

    OR, if the program doesn’t do that, it will insist that a word is missing after the pronoun because if I’ll is the equivalent of I, then “I go with you,” isn’t grammatically correct. Frustrating.

    The other downside was not being able to imbed the program directly into Word or whatever program one uses for word processing. So any corrections that are made after consulting Grammarly have to be manually reentered into the original Word document, which takes extra time as opposed to correcting errors with a mouse click if you are using spell and grammar checker in the Word program.

    I see definite potential in having a more powerful grammar checker, but until they make it more intuitive and flexible for the creative fiction writer, I’ll pass.

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