Workflow – Is Grammarly Worthwhile?

I’m introducing a new subject today: Workflow. Occasionally, I’ll take a look at some work-related subjects. For the first one, I want to discuss the merits of Grammarly.

I decided I should use Grammarly because they just kept hounding me, to be honest. And, hey, who doesn’t want to be a better writer/editor/proofreader? Of course, I want to improve my skills. Sign me up.

It’s been helpful in pointing out when I should use to instead of in, for example, or if my subject and verb disagree. And, I like that I can add words to the dictionary. This is especially helpful when I’m typing an email to a friend and use the word ‘welllllll,’ as I’m about to spill some tea.

But … I’m not all that impressed with it, to be honest.

The main reason is that I type pretty fast and I tend to misspell things. Usually, I realize my mistake right away, go back, and correct it before moving on.

True story: When I lived in San Francisco, I used to always type my address as San F-R-A-N-S-I-S-Backspace-Backspace-Backspace-C-I-S-C-O.

Another true story: I just typed it the same way right now. It’s just what I do. At 50 years old, I don’t expect it to change.

But Grammarly gives me that annoying little number in the red circle with each thing I type incorrectly. It’s not a spelling problem, per se. It’s a typing problem. And I’ll take care of it. Please give me enough time to fix my mistake, and if I don’t, then rag on me about it.

I’m also an enthusiast of the Oxford comma, or serial comma, if you prefer. 

Now, see that bolded sentence right above this one? Grammarly tells me I shouldn’t have a comma after serial comma. No joke. I know you can’t see it, but there’s a little squiggly red line underneath comma in my draft. Those commas are setting off the phrase serial comma. They’re supposed to be there! But, not according to Grammarly.

It has also suggested some odd replacements which make no sense, particularly with pronouns. For example, it has occasionally suggested I replace myself with me. This makes my writing read like it was written by someone leaving a spam comment or a tweet bot.

Rule number one of editing: If you’re not sure, switch the sentence around and read it out loud.

For now, I’ll keep Grammarly as an extra set of eyes, if you will. But it’s not as helpful as I expected it to be.

Do you use Grammarly? Do you find it helpful?