Grammar: A Friendly Approach

By Christine Sinclair | Go to book overview

11
Checking the checker
11.1 A house of correction • 11.2 Questions about grammar checkers • 11.3 Pitfalls with grammar checkers • 11.4 How to use a grammar checker knowledgeably • 11.5 What happens next • 11.6 Comments on questions • 11.7 Conclusion: advice about grammar checkers
Do you understand what the grammar checker is telling you?

Once we know how to do things, human beings like to automate them so we don't have to worry about them. Automation helps to extend human abilities by allowing us to do more. Undoubtedly, this makes life a lot easier. We can calculate a lot of numbers very quickly with calculators and spreadsheets. We can check our spelling and grammar using spelling and grammar checkers. But if we don't understand what the calculator or checker is telling us, then we're not extending our abilities. We are taking a gamble that the technology will do our work for us.

The main message of this chapter is that the grammar checker should work with you rather than for you.


11.1 A house of correction

Unfortunately, Kim has been arrested for defacing property (though she insists
that she was un-defacing it). This is not good news; she is due to give a formal

-117-

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Grammar: A Friendly Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Figures xi
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: Bad Language 8
  • 3: Mangling and Dangling Participles 20
  • 4: Getting Tense with Verbs 28
  • 5: Active and Passive Voices 41
  • 6: What is the Subject? 48
  • 7: The Complete Sentence 55
  • 8: Relationships and Relatives 75
  • 9: How to Be Offensive with Punctuation 88
  • 10: Possessive Apostrophes and Missing Letters 103
  • 11: Checking the Checker 117
  • 12: Finale 126
  • Appendix 1: More Details on Parts of Speech 141
  • Appendix 2: More Details on Clauses 149
  • Appendix 3: Warning Signs 152
  • Bibliography 154
  • Index 156
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