Don’t trust the grammar check.

After writing my last blog, I hit the spelling and grammar check, and started looking at the suggestions.  That’s when a strange thought hit me.  How much should I trust the computer’s grammar check?

I remember in high school, when we wanted to write an essay, we had to go to the library for research, use a typewriter (do you still remember those?), and use dictionaries for spelling, and grammar books to check our style.  Now, however, everything is automated.  You can do research, write an essay, e-mail your friends, and check spelling and grammar, all on the computer; sometimes in that order.

As I go through the grammar check, I will read the highlighted section aloud.  I will even go so far to say I read some passages three or four different ways to see if I agree.  If I do, I hit the change button.  If I don’t agree, I hit ignore.  Unfortunately, many kids are taught to trust computers so much, that they second-guess their own instincts, and allow the computer to do all the thinking.

As most writers know, writing isn’t always about following the rules, which is what the computers use to base their grammar checks.  Sometimes you have to break a few rules to make writing communicate the right thing, the right way.  Writing, as a way to communicate your ideas, and opinions, is very personal; you have to make it your own.  Choosing the right way to say something will have an impact on how someone else hears it.

The Point of this is, don’t rely so much on the computer’s interpretation of your writing, you may just lose the impact of your message in your writing.

Challenge: If you use the grammar check on your computer, test its suggestions by reading the sections aloud, and more than one way, to make sure it sticks to your meaning.


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3 Responses to “Don’t trust the grammar check.”

  1. Dal Jeanis Says:

    Any mechanical process for writing and editing, whether it’s grammar-check or “search for an kill all words that end in -ly”, is bound to produce results that are more homogenized than– and likely inferior to– the results that are created by a practiced human.

    …I really should rewrite that…

    Grammar-check is faulty due to its mechanical nature. So is any mechanical rule, such as “search for an kill all words that end in -ly”. You will get better results if you apply your own unique skills, vision, and voice to your writing.


    • apb148 Says:

      Thank you for your comment Dal, I’ve always believed in trusting my own instincts to write. If I don’t like it, then how can I expect other people to understand what I’m trying to say.

  2. How I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days Says:

    Hi, interesting post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be coming back to your posts.

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