Friday, March 25, 2022

Americoids and Grammarly. Sigh.

I unconsciously took it for granted that I have a bigger vocabulary than the spell-checker. Didn't even occur to me that I might not know more about spelling than the programs do. Have to add stuff to their dictionaries all the time.

Likewise I'm going to have a broader grasp of grammar than the grammar-checker. Especially a free one. It's going to be worth at most what you pay for it. 

Result: Grammarly is actively degrading the prose of those who use it. Pretty sure I'm picking up Grammarly-specific solecisms. Tells, if you will. I could verify by using it myself, but look: I already know I'm right. The conclusion is already safely supported. The details don't matter. 

Likewise Strunk and White were hacks. Folk with good grammar display it by writing, not by telling you about it. Every grammar book ever has been an attempt - generally successful - to impose twisted wrong grammar on desperate middle-class insecurities. For Impact reasons. E.g. it was just normal to use "they" as a neutral singular until this one grammar book in the 1800s. It was that one guy who made it 'he' instead, and look what the result was. Morons.

They signal virtue precisely because you won't find any if they don't signal it. Attempting to order back the tides.


Anonymous said...

>Pretty sure I'm picking up Grammarly-specific solecisms

What artifacts have you noticed? I'd like to start spotting them in the wild.

Alrenous said...

You need a hyphen for twenty-five because otherwise it sounds like twenty fives.

You do not need a hyphen for ten-thousands. Using a hyphen makes it sound like the thousands of type ten. As opposed to green-thousands or fluffy-thousands.

I think it, likes to, insert unnecessary commas, sometimes, too. That could be an accent though.

JBPGuy said...

Grammarly is like GPS/google maps for writing ability.

Don't use it, it will rot your brain. That's the point of the product, people want an excuse to not use their brain, to avoid, if you will, responsibility. You're better than that, Al. I can pick your comments on UNZ without needing to read the author.

Also, it does violate your error detection principles. You come to rely on it to detect errors in your writing, which constrains your writing / grammar.

The incentive structure goes - avoid Grammarly correcting me - write like Grammarly wants.

It's like removing all the white keys from the piano. You can't be out of key since you're always in the pentatonic scale. But your creativity is severely limited. Grammar is only important in broad terms, it's not a game where you win when you're accurate.