Grammar checkers

Subject: Grammar checkers
From: "Peter Ring, PRC" <prc -at- PIP -dot- DKNET -dot- DK>
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 1996 10:02:25 +1

My name is Peter and I am a grammar checker addict!

I am one of the unfortunate people in this world, who does not have
English as my mothers tongue, and who has not studied English
literature on a good university for seven years before I went into
technical writing. This means that I sometimes make a mistake: An
"is" instead of an "are", a "do instead of a "does", an "at" instead
of an "on", a wrong s-ending (forgot the '), etc. Or I make a change
from singularis to pluralis and forget to change "is" to "are" or
"does" to "do". Of course I know the rules, I simply just don't think
about them when I am concentrating on the content and making the text
user friendly.

But even in Danish (my mothers tongue), I use a grammar checker when
I want to polish a text. It points out too long sentences which
might be splitted into two sentences, passive voice which might be
unintended, a missing comma, etc.

To my experience grammar checkers are wrong - or rather irrelevant -
in maybe 90 or 95 % of the cases. But I love the 5 or 10% real
errors they find before my client finds them or even passes them to
the final critical readers - by the way, that's probably often less
than a few % of the readers, but that's another story.

I don't use grammar checkers for informal texts like this one, but I
use them for almost all final manual texts, and I am happy, that I
have got them.

Greetings from Denmark
Peter Ring
PRC - specialist in user friendly manuals and quality measurements on
prc -at- pip -dot- dknet -dot- dk
- homepage on user friendly instruction manuals with tips for
instruction manual writers.

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