Grammar Checkers?

Subject: Grammar Checkers?
From: "Peter Ring, PRC" <prc -at- PIP -dot- DKNET -dot- DK>
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 1996 09:25:16 +1

On Tue, 10 Sep 1996 there was a number of mails on grammar checkers,
mainly covering the opinion below:

Q:
> Can anyone recommend a grammar checker? We are running Windows 95,
> FrameMaker, and Word.

A:
> Dare I suggest hire a human editor... IME software grammer checkers
> aren't worth the (usually large) disk space they occupy.

My response:

1. There is a built-in grammar checker in MS Word for many (but not
all) languages, incl. English. More languages are available.

2. The spell checker Grammatik, which comes with WordPerfect, is
available as a stand-alone grammar checker, too.

3. To my experience - and I use grammar checkers for Danish (my
mothers tongue) and English - it is NOT a question of either .. or.
Like spell checkers, they raise questions on potential problems
and errors, which a proofreader often overlooks, but on the other
hand, a good proofreader will certainly find errors, which the
grammar checker never finds. At least (~80+%) of a grammar
checkers alarms are false alarms, but I love it for the errors it
finds.

But grammar checkers do one thing more, which at least _some_
proofreaders don't dare/know/want to do (maybe because they are not
editors): they point at some of your bad habits, which could e.g. be
passive verb and/or long complicated sentences, which many (but not
all) academics love. They also e.g. point at potential is/are and -s
conflicts, where I was not aware that it could be doubtful if the
subject was singularis or pluralis.

By the way: My automatic spell checker in my Pegasus e-mail programme
didn't like "grammer" in the answer above and suggested "grammar"!
It could be a hint, that I may be right - at least sometimes!


Greetings from Denmark

Peter Ring
PRC (Peter Ring Consultants)
- specialists in user friendly manuals and audits on manuals.
prc -at- pip -dot- dknet -dot- dk
http://www.pip.dknet.dk/~pip323/index.htm
- the "User Friendly Manuals" website with links, bibliography,
list of prof. associations, and tips for technical writers.

Searchable archives located at http://www.documentation.com/
ALL questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-


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