19 October 2013

I Use Grammarly's Online Proofreader Because Superman Does Good

There is an exchange on 30 Rock highlighting the pitfalls of grammar and trying to use it correctly in everyday conversation.

Obviously there is no real life proofreader...Yet. But there is a program to help us proofread blog posts, articles, essays, and everything else involving words so we do well and not good (Or is it to do good so we do well?). Unless, of course, you have decided to become a grammar conscious superhero/ine. If not, meet Grammarly, the ultimate online proofreader.

This inherent need to be grammar gurus is especially true for us word geeks. Math has never been a strong suit of mine, but I would always pass with flying colors in English class. With that said, I make mistakes all the time and I'm a freelance writer by trade. It's in my job description to be a proofreader and editor while also writing on the behalf of my clients. Unfortunately, it can be overwhelming with looming deadlines and a program like Grammarly is my little proofreading sidekick.

However, I have picked up a lot of bad grammar and writing habits from hopping to different roles as a writer in the last five years. I began as a freelance journalist and the difference between print and digital journalism is like night and day, especially when it concerns writing. Then I jumped over to technical writing and that is a whole different world of set rules. Now, I mostly write ad-copy for online purposes, such as informative articles and sales pitches. Most of my clients also want me to use United Kingdom English or Canadian English. Again, whole new world. I know my writing isn't perfect and that is why I'm glad technology can help me improve as a writer and word nerd.

Let's take this sentence below as an example:

Superman loves pie but Batman doesn't much prefer it, probably because he was hit in the face by one by the Joker. Still, Superman would consistently try to offer Batman some of his yummy lemon meringue pie in an effort to help Batman get over his pie phobia. He even went so far to lock Batman in a room with a single pie on a table, allowing for Batman to figure out his inner demons.
Feeding that paragraph into Grammarly it was able to find six mistakes beyond the common typo or misuse of a comma. I used passive voice, my writing tone could be tweaked, and you can see the rest of the results below!
This is important for fellow bloggers, too. Most blogs I read have great grammar but the process of proofreading can feel tedious, especially for longer posts and sometimes not all of the problems are fixed in a single proofreading sweep. Then after you've published the post, you have someone in the comments nitpicking about your wording and then it triggers a flame war and then we are all suddenly embroiled in an Internet War. Don't you want to stop the Internet War?

Whoa, got a little off topic there.

As far as Grammarly goes, it is a paid service but it is more robust than simple spell check software. It is meant as backup when you're having trouble remembering the differences in using that or which, eliminating passive voice, and just simply there to help you make your words snappier. Not only that but Grammarly also offers a Chrome and Firefox add-on, Grammarly Lite, which is like a bite-sized version of Grammarly. Also, there is the grammar FAQ and the Grammarly Handbook on everything about the confusing world of the English language.

After all, with most of the Internet being comprised of words and Grammar Czars (Nazi seems a bit too harsh) it becomes quite important that we're all doing good, right? Right. ;)

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Grammarly after they kindly asked me to do a review. Like mentioned before, I do not condone spam or lower quality websites, services, or products and will refuse to talk about them on Nerd Allure. I will only post about things that I believe are beneficial and not a scam.

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