Writing and Editing

I’ve been asked to check out Grammarly.com, which is one of these things where the internet age is finally coming full-circle and catching back up to the need to build our society on rules and not emoticons.  Let’s face it, we’re in trouble.

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Since the age of self-publishing has dawned (“Hey, Twitter published my 138 word manuscript! My stuff is good!”) the route from conception to presentation in writing is more and more expedited.  This is bad news for grammar, because especially in the English language (the only language on Earth that the DLI designates as a Class 5 difficulty language) words and their rules are a tough sea to navigate and writers are coming out of school lacking the nautical capabilities to sail these iceberg-thick waters (see photo above).  Most masters of the seas of language have long set sail…

“And now there came both mist and snow,
And it grew wondrous cold:
And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
As green as emerald.”

I’m no expert nor even in particularly good practice, but I do my best.  I do have editors on some books, and I have readers on scripts, but I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because I already have enough real, physical people in my life telling me that I’m wrong.

Everything I do seems to be app-based these days.  I used an app to tell me it was cold outside this morning.  So an app to help me with grammar and to double check plagiarism is helpful.  I have books on grammar and style all over my shelves in my office but they are so far away from me, especially when I’m working quickly, against the ticking clock of the baby napping.

Writing is all about breaking the rules, those pesky grammar and form and story rules you vaguely remember learning about while inhaling chalk dust and hoping your mom packed fruit snacks in your lunch.  And along comes college when grammar and plagiarism are taken for granted and and the greatest challenge was how to write more, more more just to get to the minimum page limit threshold.

Now in the real world the internet validates everything we say.  Poor grammar is usually inconsequential.  Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 6.26.07 AM (2)

And come on, who has time to check grammar, anyway?  People need to know about how long Starbucks took to make my PSL right now.  Well, Grammarly’s good for that.  You can check on the fly.  Make sure you’re making the point you want to make.  Grammar is empowering.

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I mostly write scripts that are not for wide publication but even then misusing words, or faulty clauses or misspellings make me look the fool.  So when in doubt, I check.  The fewer mistakes, the more clout.  People take you more seriously when you use proper grammar.

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So check out Grammarly, see if it’s useful to you.  I’m not a professional product-reviewer but I can give this site a thumbs up, and I wholeheartedly support the defenders of the English language.  I should, I’ve been a villain against it often enough myself.

Grammarly is a remedial tutor for the stuff you slept through and that your art classes never required.  Learn the rules, then break them.  Additionally, the site has a plagiarism checker which keeps you on the straight and narrow and might even help you take down some troll who’s taking credit for your work on page 13 of a message board about Loki’s love interests.

You should check it out.  Even if you’re just a casual Facebooker, it’s not a bad idea to practice good grammar, vocabulary and spelling.  Poor grammar could be costing you.

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(extra points to the readers who find the grammar mistakes in this post!)

One Response to “Writing and Editing”

  • Jake says:

    Sentences such as Go there! Run away! Speak to me. all have an understood suejbct you that we just leave off. The sentences should actually read You go there! You run away! You speak to me. Hope this helps.

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