You’re intelligent enough to know that Grammarly isn’t going to turn you into a riveting writer. You’re also smart enough to know that you need to be on the look out for typos, grammar gaffs and spelling mistakes.
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Why I started using Grammarly
Before I start, let’s get one thing straight. It wasn’t until I started writing online that I began to fully appreciate the benefit of editing software. In fact, I didn’t believe in them. My grammar was good. So good in fact that I used to teach it to Spanish students as a TEFL Teacher.
Plus, I’m a cough, cough 70’s/80’s kid. We had libraries, not the Internet. The moment I made a mistake, it was a rewrite for me. When Facebook entered stage right and Twitter stage left, it all went to ruin. And then, of course, the iPhone hurtled in slap bang in the middle of the mix.
That’s when the fun began.
Now, as much as I like to have fun with autocorrect, I can’t cope with typos and grammar mistakes. Nowadays I seem to make them all the time. And when I do, I have a ‘duh’ moment for not using Grammarly.
You see, my grammar doesn’t seem to be as good as it used to be. I have serious problems with superfluous commas, or I omit them entirely. I’d like to think it’s because I’m multi-tasking. But it would appear I am not alone.I have serious problems with superfluous commas. @Grammarly to the rescue #Grammar Click To Tweet
Regina Walton who uses the free version of Grammarly for her emails has a similar problem which Grammarly helps with:
I was always good with grammar, but I’m moving so fast now that having a second set of virtual eyes keeps me from making careless mistakes. – @ReginaWalton, Program Manager
How Grammarly can help you write better
Grammarly is a tool which grammar and spell checks your work online. It really is that simple. There’s no need to copy and paste everything into Word. You can access it right there in your browser with the help of a nifty Chrome extension meaning you can quickly and easily save yourself from potentially embarrassing writing slip ups.
I love Grammarly! Catches all my misspelt words and grammar issues, so I don’t look like an idiot. Very easy to use too! – Joe Lynch, The Logistics of Logistics
If you’re reluctant about trying Grammarly, I would encourage you to change your thinking. With this writing aid, you’re not getting your high school English teacher. Neither are you paying a teacher’s salary to use the tool. Grammarly doesn’t claim to be perfect, it claims to help your writing, and that’s exactly what you can expect.
Oscar Gonzalez, blogger of all things business and Internet marketing over on Notagrouch.com finds Grammarly to be quite the helpful tool:
Grammarly is like a spell checker and grammar checker but on steroids. – Oscar Gonazlez, Notagrouch.com
He found Grammarly to be worthy enough to upgrade to premium.
But does it get it right all the time?
I use the free version. It is great for preventing typos and keep a minimum level of professionalism in my emails and makes proofreading blogs easier. Sometimes it is a little buggy though and keeps adding weird letters or messes things up when I go back and make changes to an email. – Rianne Olde-Keizer, Digital Nomad
The point remains that you cannot rely on tools to do all the work for you. You do need to accept that your input and intelligent use will affect a positive outcome too, especially when it comes to the meaning and voice you want to get across. You see where I’m going with this, right?
Eleanor Goold of Kreativ Copywriting agrees that grammar is important but adds that there is a lot more to grammar and ‘spelling’ than first meets the eye, thus adding a further layer to the man vs. machine debate:
The etymology of the word ‘grammar’ is compelling. It has its roots in the French word ‘grimoire’, which is essentially a magic book of ‘spells’. Words certainly have more power than we think. Eleanor Goold, Kreativ CopywritingThere is a lot more to grammar and 'spelling' than first meets the eye. @KreativCopywriting #GrammarClick To Tweet
What Are The Benefits
Whether you’re a fan of Grammarly or writing aids in general, you’ve got to admit there is a lot of very poorly written content out there.
Perhaps Grammarly isn’t for you, but I bet you can think of at least five people who would seriously benefit from using it.
Let’s take a look at what you get:
What Else Should You Know About Grammarly
You get more than just a Web app you get:
- A Chrome extension
- A standalone app
- A mobile app (currently in Beta)
And a feature I haven’t tried yet, but will: access to real human proofreaders.
Russ uses Grammarly for almost everything he writes:
I actually compose the entire post in Grammarly. Then create the post in WordPress, and it never sees Word. I don’t use Word at all I also use Grammarly for 98% of all my writing including emails and sales funnels and web content. – Russ Johns, Agency258
I use Grammarly for 98% of all my writing. @Agency258media #GrammarClick To Tweet
3 Premium Version Features I love
Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
I write unnecessary filler words like: just, some, exactly. I also have a tendency to use the same words over and over again: good, great, fantastic.
With Grammarly, you can simply write away to your heart’s content. When it comes to editing, it will suggest that you change a common or overused word for something else. SWEET
Genre specific writing styles.
I like passive writing. I believe it has its place. With Grammarly, I can set my style to ‘creative’, and write as passively as I like. There are other choices available too.
Possibly confused words aka homophenes
What needs improving
We have access to many free tools to help us with everything we do online nowadays.
However, occasionally Grammarly’s Chrome extension can interfere with other sites. I’ve been known to complain about the lack of functionality on the site, only to be asked to turn off all extensions and add them back one by one to find out which is the culprit.
You guessed it, Grammarly.
But not all the time and it’s not the only one. Another minor, or maybe in some cases not so minor issue, is that there are connection problems which can potentially result in the loss of work. That said though I’m sure they’ll come up with an auto-save feature soon.
I really like it. Usually. But the worst thing is when it doesn’t work on a particular platform and when you try to make to corrections your entire post is lost. – Brandi Bergeron Co-Founder of Moon Mission Media
Angela Tempest from The Blogging Blog takes issue with Grammarly’s need to place the definite article ‘the’ where it’s not wanted:
It isn’t perfect, and it does want to add ‘the’ in lots of places! I have learned from using it, words I would use out of habit and that I’ve learned to swap for other ones. – Angela Tempest, The Blogging Blog
I’m glad Grammarly isn’t perfect. If it were, I doubt there would be a free version, and the premium version would probably be pretty unaffordable. But another reason I like it as it currently is i.e. slightly fallible is that it will still be my voice being heard, in my tone and my style. As Gail Bennie puts it:
I don’t have much faith in tools that check writing because I don’t care much for the rules.- Gail Bennie, Writing Help
Absolutely! But if you want to be a rule breaker, learn the rules first. This is what I’m continuously doing, and I also put quite a bit of faith in Grammarly so I can avoid Death by Typos.
You just received an excellent overview of what to expect from Grammarly. I suggest you give it a try and let me know what you think. (But make sure you run your comment through a spell checker first) ツ