What’s the point of Microsoft’s Grammar Checker?

  Onizuka 15:59 05 Jan 2009

I think I’m fortunate that I belong to the older generation who were taught spelling and grammar at school but, even so, I still use the Spelling Checker in MS Word to pick up any typos, etc. However, I am completely baffled by the Grammar Checker and can’t help but wonder if the Microsoft programmers who created it can actually read or write any English. I have just written a letter to a friend which included the following sentences:

“You can imagine the noise five small children generated; as well as there seeming to be about fifteen of them, they....”
Microsoft’s suggestion: replace “there” with “their”.

“...when he saw the Mondeo we’d got after the old car was written off in an accident.....”
Microsoft’s suggestion: replace “got” with “go”.

In all the years I’ve been using Word I have never yet agreed with any of the Grammar Checker’s suggested changes mainly because none of them ever makes any sense. I suppose I could switch it off but its nonsense often brightens a dull day. What do others think?

PS It’s just told me to change “...its nonsense...” to “...it’s nonsense...”. That says it all, I think.

  pcmags 16:09 05 Jan 2009

Oh come now do you not realise that US English is the only spoken language?;-)

  Pamy 16:14 05 Jan 2009

“...its nonsense...” to “...it’s nonsense...”.

Is that not correct then?

  Onizuka 16:26 05 Jan 2009

Of course I realise! But even US English makes sense.

its = belonging to it
it's = it is

Would it be correct to say "I suppose I could switch it off but it is nonsense often brightens a dull day"?

  Quickbeam 16:38 05 Jan 2009

I ignore it 'cause I write like wot I speak;)

  BT 16:39 05 Jan 2009

I used to work for a company called Amylum and the spell checker insisted on 'Asylum'. How right it was!

  Pamy 16:42 05 Jan 2009

Realy do not understand grammer but, I think "...it’s nonsense...”. is correct

  Pamy 16:45 05 Jan 2009

Ah, spotted it, you are talking about its "nonsence". Thought it did not read proper.

  interzone55 16:51 05 Jan 2009

One of my customer's is a division of BT called BT iNet - Outlook insists that I refer to this company as BT Inept.

One of our competitors is called Norbain, Outlook likes to call this company No brains.

I couldn't possibly comment on the veracity of these names...

  Bingalau 18:01 05 Jan 2009

The bit that puzzles me is when it suggests that I re-phrase a sentence. But it has no suggestions as to how. I read the sentence and if it makes sense to me then I consider it good enough for anyone else. Mind you I was never taught grammar at school, there was a war on and they taught me how to knit instead. Much more useful than grammar of course. I've always read a lot and I think that helps with both grammar and spelling. But like others on these forums I take the added precaution of using the spell checker and find it does pick up words where I may have hit a key twice or something.

  Jim Thing 19:37 05 Jan 2009

I gave up on spellcheckers 'way back when they all used to insist that words like colour, odour, etc. had no 'u'.

As for that illiterate grammar checker, the less said the better.

Still, as Onizuka says, its wilder flights of fancy can sometimes brighten an otherwise dull afternoon.

Drifting off-topic a bit: why arent kid's taught how to use apostrophe's these day's? Perhaps teacher's dont know either. Its a disgrace.

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