When Nick from Grammarly asked if I would write a sponsored post, I wondered why. Grammarly is an automated online proofreader, and, after running a couple of my recent posts through it, I realised he was offering a helping hand. I certainly wouldn’t be walking away from an English Language O-level with a grade A pass these days.
I know that my style on this blog is casual and that cardinal sins are committed: split infinitives, passive tense, and sentence fragments being particular favourites. But I never start or end a sentence with a conjunction. Never. No, siree, not me!
As a linguist, I do enjoy the rules of language and, after spending an afternoon playing with Grammarly, I could become utterly obsessed. It is so simple to use. Just drop your text into the box and press review. Nod knowingly or scratch your head in bemusement as you read the headlines that pop up as the text is being reviewed: dangling/limiting modifiers, faulty parallelism, comma splices. Be ashamed when your carefully crafted review is scathingly scored 46/100 by the rules of general English usage. It fares a little better at 62/100 when checked against the rules of creative writing. Judgement is pronounced as “needs review”. (That’ll be a ”must do better” on the school report.)
I can see that this would be an excellent tool for professional writers and editors with the plagiarism checker being particularly useful. (Although Grammarly claimed to have found plagiarism in my post, I can honestly say that all the words (and mistakes) were my own. See footnote.) However, this blog is a hobby and a pleasurable means to record my thoughts in my own (un)grammatical way. You see, I really am a lapsed pedant. If I worried about perfection, I’d never post anything. So I’ll subscribe to the Grammarly service on the day I find a book in me to write. That might be a while. I’m too busy reading the works of others.
For reference: I gave this post the Grammarly once-over at www.grammarly.com. 19 issues found and 57/100 measured against the yardstick of general English usage or 8 issues and 76/100 against casual usage. Hmmm, it appears I should stop lapsing.
Footnote: Grammarly was correct! It recognised the text from my blog!