I had always thought that technology was freeing burdened souls from having to follow ancient rules. The cherished principle of disruption has taken an ax to any supposed truth that's more than seven years old.
Yet some still want to preserve old ways. Grammarians, for example.
What use is grammar, really? You know what someone's trying to say when they tweet: "LOL. SKOOL SUX!!!!" -- even if the grammar gods might feel the bile rising toward their vocal chords.
Surely the most important thing about communication is the communicating part, not the following-some-old-Englishman's-rules part.
And yet there is an app called Grammarly, whose sole existence is predicated on preserving linguistic decorum.
In order to prove its alleged worth, Grammarly decided to analyze the tweets of the famous to see just how terminal grammar skills had become.… Read more
A slew of geeky slang terms have made it into the the new third edition of the Oxford Dictionary of English.
We personally think this shows great progress, (except for "tweetup;" gawd that word sets our teeth on edge) but if you're a curmudgeonly, crusty old member of the grammar police you might want to hold on a minute before grabbing your truncheons.
Read more of "Interweb, defriend and tweetup make it into the dictionary&… Read more
Being, among other things, writers and editors, we're sticklers for good grammar and proper punctuation. So when it came time to test CorrectEnglish, our expectations were high. Unfortunately, this program failed to impress, or to correct English, for that matter.
The program's user interface looks very professional and seems intuitive at a glance. The interface closely resembles typical word processing programs, so most users should find it easy to navigate. The tabs run across the top of the window gave us access the program's grammar, writing, word choice, and reference features and settings. We were able to … Read more
Spell Catcher is the modern-day descendant of a spell-checking app from ancient times (as a Desk Accessory called Thunder, from 1985), now with powerful, system-wide spell-checking and text-expanding features.
By default, this muscular app tracks every word you type on your Mac, across every application, and provides you with much more than the live visual feedback you get in separate apps with built-in spell-checking. Spell Catcher can give you automatic typo fixing, spoken alerts (for example, pointing out repeated words, or curious spellings with a quick "Curious!"), instant access to the dictionary and thesaurus (with support for multiple … Read more
Automattic, the company behind blogging platform WordPress, announced Tuesday that it has acquired After the Deadline, a service that finds spelling and grammar errors in blog posts. The deal's terms were not disclosed.
After the Deadline's spelling-, grammar-, and style-checking tools are now available to 7.5 million WordPress blogs. It's also available as a downloadable plug-in for WordPress users.
Looking ahead, Automattic plans to make After the Deadline open-source. It hopes the community will play a part in improving it. After the Deadline's founder Raphael Mudge, will stay on at Automattic to deliver After the … Read more
RightWriter Grammar Analysis allows users to evaluate their writing for proper grammar and effective style. Although the trial version disables the program's main feature, the sample text provided with RightWriter makes us think that the program is a useful tool for writing improvement.
The program's interface is basic and intuitive. Users type or paste the text they want to analyze into a text box, click the Analyze button, and the analysis shows up in another text box. The program suggests alternatives when word choices are too "wordy," identifies use of the passive voice, and gives other … Read more
As children, many of us had fun with Mad Libs. You remember these; the game asks for a set of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and other parts of speech, which are then inserted into a story with hilarious results. StoryMaker operates on the same basic premise, and is just as much fun.
The program's interface is rather unattractive, but it is simple and can be easily navigated by kids. There are large buttons for the program's four main functions. The first button let users play the game. The program asks for words in various parts of speech, and at … Read more
Voca is a versatile program that lets users practice their vocabulary in any language, provided they can come up with a list of vocabulary words.
The program's interface is sleek and attractive, but it's not immediately obvious how a user should get started. A visit to the online Help file reveals that users must either create their own list of vocabulary words or visit the publisher's Web site to download a list created by another user. Both options are easy to do, and once the vocabulary list is created or loaded, the program offers a variety of … Read more