Help me Grammarly! Which is correct, Let’s eat Grandma versus Let’s eat, Grandma?
It may seem lame, but the above question is the theme to one of my favorite memes( 380 × 133 – sawdustcityllc.com). Yes, it is about commas. Growing up in Southern California, I attended public school for Kindergarten through twelfth grade. Even though we delved into a variety of topics, I still believe that basic math, cursive writing (not taught as often anymore), grammar, and punctuation were likely the most important. Despite all of the efforts of my teachers, I felt that I struggled with the correct usage of the comma, semicolon, and colon. When I started college, I realized just how well I had been prepared for my classwork. Unfortunately, I had friends who could not construct sentences, and I tried to help them with papers by acting as a proofreader. Ultimately, this improved my skills as well. I learned that having a second set of eyes on your work was an excellent way to prevent errors. It is funny that our brain may read the same sentence multiple times and never see the mistake. A peer may spot the same error immediately.
Grammarly is an Mac app that helps to ensure that you are writing at your best. Most word processors will help with autocorrect and spell checking. However, you may still inadvertently use a correctly spelled word in an incorrect manner. If you navigate to Grammarly.com, you will learn about the app and the free Safari extension. The aforementioned application/add-on is an extension that everyone with a Mac should be utilizing. Navigate to the website and then select the “Get Started, It’s Free,” icon. The app will ask if you are writing for work, school or other projects and will then ask about your skill level: beginner, intermediate or advanced (I chose intermediate). You will need to log in with your email, facebook or google account information and then it will direct you to the main Grammarly page. Along the left, you will be able to select “My Grammarly, Profile, Apps (Grammarly for OSX), Premium, Log Out.”
Under “Profile,” you can choose between American and British English, which do have some differences. The most notable differences can be found in spelling (favorite vs. favourite, harbor vs. harbour, organize vs. organise, analyze vs. analyse, center vs. centre, theater vs. theatre, traveled vs travelled), grammar (American English uses a single verb for a collective noun, and British English will allow single/collective verbs) and punctuation (American English uses double quotes and places periods/commas inside of the quotes whereas British English uses single quotes and allows variation in punctuation). If you selected American English, the second words in the above lists would receive an underline, as misspelled words, and if you choose British English, the corollary is true. Once Downloaded, the Safari plug-in conveniently runs in the background. You can write in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress and anywhere else you can write on the web. You will see the Grammarly “G” icon located to the left of the search bar. Activate this with a left mouse click and then slide the toggles to the on position for “Check for Grammar and Spelling for Macsources” and “Show Definitions and Synonyms via Double Clicks (All Sites).”
While actively using the add-on, you will see a little red circle along the bottom right of your text section. If you select the circle, it will allow you to enter the Grammarly editor. Within this window, you can evaluate your writing in a line-by-line fashion and review the basic issues (spelling, basic punctuation). If you choose to upgrade to the premium version, you will also see critical and advanced issues (twice as many mistakes identified on average as compared to the free version, plagiarism checker, Improve your skills through vocabulary enhancement). I love to scan through the Grammarly editor data, to see information about repetitive words, overused words, spelling errors, comma issues, passive voice issues. Simply navigate down the page from line to line and adjust the errors through a single click.
Perhaps one of my favorite features is the weekly Grammarly update. As of the publication of this review, I have used the application for 13 weeks. At 12 weeks of activity, I received an achievement for “Herculean” achievement, Tolstoy-Like Achievement for seven weeks of activity, One-Month Masterpiece, Heming-Way to Go achievement at two weeks, Great Expectations at one week of activity. The weekly report will detail your productivity (I am more productive than 98% of Grammarly users). You will also see accuracy (I am more accurate than 20% of the users), Vocabulary (I used more unique words than 99% of Grammarly users). Lastly, the premium upgrade will show you the number of mistakes. My three most common mistakes are confused prepositions, missing commas in compound sentences and utilizing incorrect punctuation without abbreviation.
The app really has helped me to become a better writer and the price is very fair. You can choose among (Monthly $29.95/month, Quarterly $19.98/month as a single payment of $59.95, Annual $11.66/month billed as a single payment of $139.95. I tried a month for free and fell in love with the application and purchased the annual contract. I would rate the app at 5/5 stars.
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