Check That Grammar

owlUsing a grammar checker is becoming a must for some people, especially those who are studying English as a second language. We live in a world full of grammar checkers, auto-corrector, and other digital helpers. The question is, are they actually helping or are they making people ignorant of the language which they are dependent on.

Let’s take a different case. Let’s take navigating. It used to be that if you didn’t know how to read a map, you would be lost. Period. If you were in a situation where it was required of you to read a map, plan a route, and follow it – you would be up the creek with no paddle. Nowadays, people can afford to not know the first thing about maps and navigation, thanks to GPS and related navigation apps.

So, on the one hand, it saves people the trouble. On the other hand, it means that these people are lacking something that would otherwise be pretty darn fundamental. Where do you draw the line? What is truly outdated and unnecessary, and what is still necessary but grossly overlooked? How do you differentiate? What values do you place over others?

Well, when it comes to language, I take issue. Not knowing how to navigate – okay. Not knowing things which were once common knowledge or necessary – okay. But not knowing how to speak, read, and write properly? There is no excuse for that.

These days, there are spelling and grammar checkers as reviewed on which are taking that into consideration, and are trying to improve on a person’s language skills, rather than simply provide that person with the proper way to spell, phrase, punctuate, style, and contextualize.

Software which gives you the option of not knowing proper spelling and grammar, but which strives to improve on that – that is the kind of grammar checking which we could all use.

Some are saying that language, and the English language in particular, is in trouble. When you put so much power into the hands of machines and digital helpers… well, it has the potential to seriously backfire. Only through proper education from early on can we make sure that the next generation isn’t overrun with individuals who do not know how to speak, spell, or read correctly. People who rely on machines and algorithms to provide them with vocabulary and proper phrasing.


Slang, vernacular, and lingo all have their place, but we need to make sure that these do not replace the English which we know. The English language has gone through so many changes and several significant revolutions in its time. Are we on the brink of another? A digital linguistic revolution? Time will tell. Some are already eulogizing the written word and the English language, but I feel we should not be so pessimistic. There will always be people who care enough about language, and who will do their best to ensure that the next generation knows their roots.

Keep reading, keep writing, and keep asking the right questions! And, if you do get a grammar checker, get one which also challenges you, and which helps you become a better writer.

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