Imagine you have an important email to send or write a good article and you just cannot tell if you are supposed to use “have” or “has”. Maybe you understand your writing but are not sure whether someone else can.
English can be complicated and grammar puts me to sleep. Which is why I use Grammarly.
Grammarly “makes sure everything you type is clear, effective, and mistake-free.” This is actually very hard to pull off but Grammarly does a pretty good job at polishing up my writing. And the best part, Grammarly is free!
Let’s see how this technology works. Language is something we all pick up by the time we are 3. We construct sentences with pretty complex rules by simple listening and learning. A computer is not the same. It lacks a common sense that humans seem to possess naturally. Also, languages change over time. To be a good grammar checker requires some kind of learning.
Before Artificial Intelligence, computers were pretty dumb. They did what we told them to do, nothing more nothing less. In a way, the program was as intelligent as the developer (sorry devs!). With AI all that changed. Suddenly, a computer can start off with simple basic rules and keep updating them to more complex levels. This, simply, is machine learning.
If a program of this kind is presented with enough “case studies”, it will get better at the language. This is pretty similar to how humans learn. Grammarly says its products harness the capabilities of AI to give more accurate and human-like grammar corrections. According to its website “Grammarly’s algorithms flag potential issues in the text and suggest context-specific corrections for grammar, spelling and usage, wordiness, style, punctuation, and even plagiarism. Grammarly explains the reasoning behind each correction, so you can make an informed decision about whether, and how, to correct an issue.” This means that it’s not a dumb tool built into an editor but a program capable of giving reasons.
This part is crucial as language rules are frequently broken by the best authors to make some point. For instance, Winston Churchill is sometimes credited with saying, “This is the sort of bloody nonsense up with which I will not put.” This is awkward and does not make for good writing. By using Grammarly, you can decide based on the reasoning to accept Grammarly‘s recommendation or not.
Now that we know how it works, let’s look at how we can use it. Grammarly is a Web App, which is a good thing as it is always up-to-date. Generally, we spend most of our time on the internet, with usually a large chunk of that writing. You can use Grammarly as an editor to type in or add it as an extension. I prefer to use its chrome extension as it integrates nicely into most editors on the web. Unfortunately, it is
not supported(currently in beta for chrome users) on Google docs which is a bummer. But otherwise, I use Grammarly everywhere to write. They even have plugins for Microsoft Word and Outlook.
Grammarly was started in 2009 in the Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine, by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn. It has since grown into a service used all over the world. In 2013, Grammarly was awarded the “Gold Award” from TopTenReviews with a rating of 8.88.
What’s the difference between free and premium?
- Spelling mistakes
- Basic grammar checks
- Basic Punctuation
- Sentence Structure
- 400+ types of grammar checks
- Plagiarism checks
- Microsoft® Office Add-in
- Vocabulary enhancement tools
- 24/7 support
What do users say about premium?
- 76% of users find writing more enjoyable
- 99% of students see improved writing grades
- 85% of users are now stronger writers
I personally think the premium version is worth it for working professionals.
Grammarly has other apps that complement the writing process. Educators and researchers will be happy to note that Grammarly has a Plagiarism Checker. This is software that checks if work has been copied from other sources and submitted as their own. Grammarly also has apps that work from within windows, in case you didn’t like typing in your browser. It will need internet access to work well though.
And that is it! If Grammarly does not seem important to you, you’re missing the point. Grammarly is meant to be mundane and boring so that you don’t have to be. So put on your writing caps and start writing. Nothing you write will be wrong, what with Grammarly making sure you’re always right!