Tag Archives: Grammar & Punctuation

Online grammar checkers – Grammarly revisited

Way back in 2013, I was invited to write a review of the online grammar checker, Grammarly. I was paid by Grammarly directly to write this blog, with the only requirement being that I had to open with the phrase ‘I use Grammarly’s free online grammar check because…’ At the time, I found Grammarly to be a fairly useful tool, though I did raise several concerns including the academic implications of plagiarism checkers, and the danger of Grammarly becoming a crutch for weaker writers.

Now, six years on, I find cause to revisit my original review of Grammarly, and reiterate many of my original concerns as Grammarly continues to expand its reach.

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Online grammar checkers – is Grammarly really worth it?

“I use Grammarly’s free online grammar check because even the best writers make missed stakes.”

I recently stumbled across Grammarly, a tool that claims to be “The World’s Best Grammar Checker”.  According to the website, Grammarly is “an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach” that corrects “up to 10 times” more mistakes than many of the most popular word processor packages. Bold claims indeed, though such powers of proofreading do not come cheap. At the time of writing Grammarly is charging $29.95 per month, or $139.95 for a whole year. That’s £18.56 per month or £86.74 per year for users based in the UK.

But is the system any good? Come to that, can any automated proofreader really substitute for a bit of good old-fashioned honest toil? Continue reading »

A brief guide to apostrophes

Of all the grammatical errors that I encounter on a daily basis, the misuse of the humble apostrophe is certainly one of the most common. Whether it be simple mistakes such as confusing “its” with “it’s”, or the more fundamentally incorrect use of the apostrophe to reflect a plural, there seems to be a general misunderstanding of what an apostrophe actually means, and where it should be used. To address some of these issues, I’ve compiled this brief guide. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to post in the comments section below. Continue reading »