Re: Re[2]: Grammar Checkers

Subject: Re: Re[2]: Grammar Checkers
From: "Huber, Mike" <Mike -dot- Huber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 27 Jun 1996 15:59:24 -0400

Yeah. They are frequently wrong, unreliable, and no substitute for
knowing the language.

But I've found that sentences that the software doesn't like tend to need
a second look. Usually not for the reason the software says, and often
the sentence is, in fact, OK. I very rarely use the suggestion the
software presents.

I consider a complicated or odd construction to be "expensive." It costs
reader attention and focus. The sentences that software flags tend to be
those "expensive" sentences. I can often (when reminded by the software)
come up with a simpler way to say the same thing.

And then there are the stupid mistakes, where I know better but slip up.
Anybody that tells you they don't make those is a liar. And those often
are invisible to the author, even if a 4th grader can pick them out.

I never rely on the software to correct my grammar, but a quick pass
through the system often improves my documents.

The "I'm smarter than the stupid box" reaction puzzles me, coming from
people used to computers. Grammar checkers are just another tool, like
spell checkers and, indeed, word processing software. Yes, I can (and
need to be able to) correct grammar by hand. And I can correct spelling
with a dictionary (I have one right next to my monitor). And I can write
with a ball point pen, a pencil, a fountain pen, and I'm working on my
ability to chip-carve lettering into wood. So what? Using the available
tools (even if they aren't perfect) where appropriate is still a good
idea.

----------
From: Arlen.P.Walker[SMTP:Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM]
Sent: Thursday, June 27, 1996 1:36 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list TEC
Subject: Re[2]: Grammar Checkers

I can speak the language.
I can write the language.
I can hear the language.
I can undertsand the language.

When my computer does all of the above, I'll take its advice. :{>}

Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 124

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
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