Sunday, April 12, 2009

"I guess he . . ."

I ran across some grammar, slash, spell checker software called Grammar Expert Plus last night. There’s a free thirty-day trial period and I thought, “Why not try.” What a hoot.

Here’s an example of the kind of the hints it gives. The program highlighted the words ‘I guess he.’ The message:

Check to see if you meant to use “he” here. A pronoun such as “he” which is the object of a verb such as “guess” is usually in objective-case form. Possible a relative pronoun such as “that” or “who” is missing.

Taking its advise and using "who" with those three words, doesn't fit. And using "that," well, I'm not an expert, but I read a lot. Something I read, recently, discouraged using the word "that." I wish I knew where I read it so I could share the article, I'm sorry about that. When I did a search in my WIP, most sentences read well without the word.

Nevertheless, the words were used in dialogue. People just don’t talk in ‘objective-case form.’

If I were to rate the Grammar Expert Plus, I'd give it a C-. I don't think it was designed to work with creative writing. Some of the suggestions made me take a second look at my sentence structure; however, and rewording a phrase or sentence made it much easier to read. Take the good with the bad, you have to use your own judgment in the end.”

There’s another, more expensive, program called “Perfect English,” by Whitesmoke. It has dedicated options for professional writing as well as for creative writing. The demo looks pretty cool.

Maybe I should contact Whitesmoke and get compensation for plugging their product. Truth is, I'm not plugging it because I've never used it and though it may help, there is no perfect word processor or grammar checker anywhere.

Microsoft Word is great. It corrects my spelling, it makes suggestions on sentence structure, and sometimes it corrects my grammar and punctuation. What it’s biggest sin is; however, it doesn’t distinguish between homonyms.

Well, that’s my wisdom for the day. I'm going to go drop this post into Grammar Expert Plus now. If you find mistakes, IT'S NOT MY FAULT.

Happy Easter and happy writing, everyone.



  1. I'm from the "rules are more of a guideline really" school of thought. I write like I talk. I think it brings the reader closer.

    Thanks for following my blog! =) Glad to have found yours. I love your title! That's clever.

  2. For me I found that 'Grammar for Dummies' was a great book to use for a reference. I like to know the rules then choose which to break which is why auto-correct software doesn't work so well for me.