They can help you write right.

You cannot be sure here, just who is the problem? It is all about a program called My Analytics from Microsoft and another program called Grammarly. Both programs are intrusive and trying to sell us something. They both present themselves as though they have groups of monkeys in lab coats ready to analyse us and our writing.

The first problem is that I do not like Microsoft. If I can avoid it at all, I do not do business with Microsoft. I consider the company to be intrusive, incompetent and inhuman. Its only advantage is that it is often half the price of Apple. It just never stops trying to get more money from us.

And it is an appalling thought to have Microsoft routinely analyzing my work habits, my washroom breaks, my cooperation with others and how I behave on play dates.

And add to that, this company out of San Francisco, that thinks it can make your American English more perfect. Perfect American English is an oxymoron. The Grammarly program says my productivity has been nil for the past week but my mastery of the language must be perfect because they can find no errors.

That is certainly the way I like it. Yet, I doubt that I have cracked open the second edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage on my bookshelf once in the past 30 years. I learned, a long time ago, that effective communications are not always rule-based.

As an editor, I learned that all that need to be corrected are errors that get in the way of effective communications. Errors that facilitate understanding are welcome. Though, I do think it helps to know the rules before you discard them.

No doubt, I make enough errors in these commentaries to keep the monkeys at Microsoft and Grammarly busy. But, sorry folks, no sale.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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