1. scribbledhopes
    Offline

    scribbledhopes Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    1

    My problem with MS Word (the software)

    Discussion in 'Software' started by scribbledhopes, May 20, 2008.

    Curious if anyone else runs into this. I have the latest version of Microsoft word.

    The grammar check on the beast underlines in green what I believe to be a healthy sentence. I add a comma, bam it goes all green so I take it out. Later someone says in a review that I needed a comma there.

    It's frustrating. Am I alone?
     
  2. RomanticRose
    Offline

    RomanticRose Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Messages:
    491
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    New Mexico
    The grammar check on Word is schizophrenic at best. Most people I know who use Word disable it.
     
  3. Flubagalub
    Offline

    Flubagalub Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Australia
    I occasionally pay attention to the spell check if I'm not sure of the spelling of a word, however I generally trust myself more than the spell check for grammar.
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Word does the best it can with a complicated language. When I see the squiggly green, and I do leave it enabled, I read the suggestion and judge for myself whether it is correct. More often than not, it has misclassified a word somewhere in the sentence, because of the context.

    It's a tool, and can help the fat fingered if they understand the rules well enough to write well without grammar check. But it is not a substitute for a good writer's manual or three; it's a supplement.
     
  5. Al B
    Offline

    Al B Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    10
    Ignore it. Completely.

    Try typing the above into it. You'll see it alerts you that it is possibly incorrect, suggesting that the one word sentence is a 'fragment'. But of course what I typed is not incorrect, it is like that for dramatic emphasis, and there is no way a computer program can know what is good or bad dramatic emphasis, so there is no way it can advise you on structure for anything other than the simplest of grammatic structures, and it often cannot even manage that properly. So the best bet is simply to know the rules of grammar and stick to them yourself, perhaps using the checker on Word as a (very dumb) occasional assistant.

    Al
     
  6. WriterCindy
    Offline

    WriterCindy New Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    You're not alone - it's gotten to the point where I pretty much ignore the grammar check because it's so haphazard.
     
  7. Vayda
    Offline

    Vayda Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2008
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually, on the subject of commas, there's a distinct possibility that word IS correct - and so are your reviewers.

    Those of us that paid attention in elementary school probably learned that you put a comma after every item in a list, including the last item, before the "and" (as in, Mary, Jim, and Joe). I know that's what I learned. Nowadays, schoolchildren aren't taught that the last comma is necessary. The trend recently is to remove commas. If you read a book from the 1800s and count the commas in a given paragraph, and then do the same for a modern book, you're likely to find about 50% more commas in the older work. So Word might be right in telling you that you don't need the comma, because Word is working with the absolutely most recent grammatical lessons. Those of us that learned it in school are still enamored in older rules. Technically? Both are correct :)
     
  8. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,893
    Likes Received:
    10,081
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Language is a complicated little beastie. Be thankful that computer programmes have yet to achieve the complexity needed to truly pick a sentence apart.

    That would be a little too close to A.I. for my comfort. ;)
     
  9. MumblingSage
    Offline

    MumblingSage Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    My heart in on the shores of Gitchee-Gume, my body
    Ignore grammar check. The one I'm on right now (at school) underlines contractions and suggest I spell them out to be more formal.
     
  10. Milady
    Offline

    Milady Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Cogito's spot on, as always. Sometimes I do slip up, and have to take the stupid thing's advice. More often I just have to hit "ignore". It just takes a little patience and judgement.

    There's also emily's idea of ignoring certain rules such as the fragments one. This is sort of the grammatical equivalent of adding my nefarious last name to the spell check's dictionary, and should be done only if you are sure you won't do it on accident.

    And, of course, your friends here on WF are always happy to help with your grammar needs... =]
     

Share This Page