Archive for July 21st, 2010

Best Grammar Checker

Well today I decided it’d be fun to do a little honing of my typing skills, which in turn sent me wildly out of control a path I could not have foreseen.

Today it went something like this.

www.typeracer.com -> a book -> www.geraldmweinberg.com -> weinbergonwriting.blogspot.com -> www.ninc.com/blog/index.php/archives/meet-dean-wesley-smith -> quest to disable all automatic grammar checking -> quest to find the best grammar checker.

The first quest was easy.  In Firefox its in preferences->advanced->check my spelling as I type.  Then you can just right-click to active the spell checking.  Why would you want to do this? Well Dean Wesley Smith has it off because it is simply, “Too disruptive on the creative flow.”, and he seems to know something about writing efficiently.

It boils down to these three steps when writing.

  1. Creative writing.  Let the information flow!
  2. Spell Checker, Grammar Checker, Proofread.  Yes by hand. I’ll get more into to that later.
  3. Have someone else read your work.  (If its important.  I’m gonna skip this step for this blog post).

Now, I simply didn’t stop here, I had my second quest, to find the best grammar checker.  Firefox only has a built-in spelling checker, while Safari has a built-in grammar and spelling checker.  Certainly there had to be a plug-in!

Despite the mixed reviews I ended up going with After the Deadline out of the two grammar checkers available because it seemed like it was their specialty and the idea is great.  When it finds a grammatical error it doesn’t just fix it, it tells you why it did so and teaches you little something.  AWESOME.  Except it doesn’t work… at least not very well.  In fact, I’m attempting to use it as I write and it simply isn’t working.  So I won’t be able to show you their awesome idea, but I think you get it.  They do also offer a WordPress plugin, which I’ll try some other time.

Anyways, I also looked at several other grammar checkers testing them with a tough sentence I came up with, only to find none of them fixed it how I would fix it.  Some did better than others.

The sentence: Tis is the stuff I luv abut yous I like you. I really would, like this, too works good.

  • Built-in browser (Safaria, Firefox).  Ok…
  • Microsoft Word.  Pretty good.
  • But the winner is!  WhiteSmoke.  This one did very well.

However, after looking at their video I noticed something not quite right.  She sent her manuscript to a big NY publishing house, but it rejected it. I felt it should be: She sent her manuscript to a big NY publishing house, but they rejected it. Now, it wasn’t enough that I felt it should be they, I had to prove it to myself.  At first I was in a dilemma, I could only find references that said to use singular pronouns to refer to singular nouns…  until this!

If we refer to the individuals that compose that unit, we use a plural pronoun.
My family is very warm and supporting. I love them all.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Derek Litz - July 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm

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Hello world!

Goodbye, cruel world.

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Derek Litz - at 3:54 am

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