Another gizmo landed on my desk this morning and being the gadget-freak that I am, I was itching to try it out.
www.grammarly.com claims to be able to correct your grammar automatically and give you consistent punctuation throughout a document… Well that sounds like a challenge to me! So I ran it through my usual document that I use for recruiting VAs. To be fair, this is a particularly nasty test and the pass rate hovers around 10% even when recruiting experienced VAs.
Results of a virtual spellcheck - is it as good as a real person?
The results for the www.grammarly.com gizmo were not good – it would have failed with a score of just 2/14 grammatical or spelling mistakes picked up by their automatic checker, and both the corrections it made would be picked up by Word’s own spell-check.
Machine = 0, Human = 1
Frequently Missed Corrections:
- Its / It’s
- Meter / metre
- Effect / affect
- Your / You’re
- Practice / Practise
- Principal / Principle
- Stationary / Stationery
- Missing capital letters
- American spellings – -ise vs -ize, colour vs color etc.
Why are proofreaders still needed?
The reason that a human being with reasonable proofreading skills still far outweighs a machine is that we have the power of reasoning. So we know that meters (as in electrical) are not the same as a metres (the measurement). Ditto we can tell apart our sight (using our eyes) from the site (the land we are looking at). There / their still get confused. And we always need to be able to check the spelling of places or people with a bit of common sense (perhaps helped by Google or Royal Mail’s postcode checker, or making your your references all work properly and update automatically).