Grammarly, friend or foe?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by citizenzen, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #1
    I've been using it for a number of months now and today I finally deleted it. While I appreciate the spellchecking help, I just couldn't take the user experience any more. It seemed as if every correction became a fight between me and the software, with Grammarly moving my cursor in unexpected ways and making simple text changes far more difficult than they should be. I tried clicking, "Ignore" the correction, but that would just set off a cascade of more "Ignores," each one capable of causing a new problem that had to be addressed.

    So I'm curious how others here have responded to the extension. Is it a life-saver, or the annoyance as I've found it, or perhaps something in between?
     
  2. QueenTyrone macrumors 6502a

    QueenTyrone

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    Sep 21, 2016
    #2
    My dad had it and hated it a lot and felt it was over priced lol
     
  3. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #3
    I'm not too sure what this software is that you're talking about, but I get the impression it is a tool to automatically correct one's grammar on the fly. To be honest, while I don't mind unobtrusive feedback from grammar checking software, what you describe sounds like a horrible user experience.

    I also think there is something to be said for a writer paying attention to what they write without the help of software. It is generally good practice (hell, I'd say a downright requirement) to reread one's writing to check for spelling and grammar errors, as well as "big picture" edits for logical flow and cohesion. Some people might fall into a habit of relying solely on their software, which could have the ironic effect of lowering the quality of writing that might have otherwise been checked more carefully and deliberately by a human.

    So, ehhh, the little green lines in MS Word don't bother me so much, but what you describe sounds infuriating.
     
  4. citizenzen, Oct 6, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017

    citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #4
    I was using the free version.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 6, 2017 ---
    Grammarly is a Chrome extension that has a free version one can upgrade to a premium version. It’s not the feedback itself that’s obtrusive, it’s how it controls or directs your cursor that makes it difficult to work with. Difficult enough that I finally just said screw it, I’d rather live with the misspellings.
     
  5. Uplift macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I'm really close to deleting it... the extension at least. Same issues as you, the user experience can be a crazy battle at times.
     
  6. citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #6
    Seriously crazy battles. That’s an excellent description.
     
  7. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #7
    Yikes, not having full control over my cursor is a deal-breaker for sure.
     
  8. citizenzen thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mar 22, 2010
    #8
    Imagine software that wants you to do one thing, when you want to do another, and it keeps insisting you're wrong.
     
  9. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #9
    Oh hell, this happens with my phone right now. I will write, in proper context, a properly spelled word that Apple has decided I couldn't possibly have meant to write, and it quite frustratingly will autocorrect it to something else, without my approval.

    **** that!
     
  10. kazmac macrumors 603

    kazmac

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    Mar 24, 2010
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    #10
    I have the premium version, but it has gone down hill over the past year or so; they're trying to incorporate machine learning which has screwed up corrections. Lately, the errors picked up (such as words used too frequently when they are only used once etc.), is getting a bit ridiculous.

    I am also experiencing the OP's issues where they insist a spelling or usage is wrong; even when it is not. This is probably due to the Machine Learning element that only presumes it knows what is right after pouring through every document that is funneled through the software.

    I tend to wait until they send me emails that offer the service at half off the yearly price, but I am increasingly unhappy with it.

    The WSJ reported this back in May, but it's behind a paywall. Here's Tech Crunch's article.
     
  11. Zenithal macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #11
    HemingWay or ProWritingAid are better according to what I've read. I tried out Grammarly when it first came out, which was in 2010 or 2011. Maybe earlier, I don't remember. Was not a fan.

    Sounds like politics. :p
     
  12. trucdev88 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    #12
    Grammarly supports multiple document types, and you can identify each document as a blog post, as an article, as a business document and so on. Grammarly also has a plagiarism checker, which may be useful if you’re writing academic documents or reviewing a peer’s work. My school spent a lot of money buying checking plagiarism software so that students can submit and check only 1 time, so I think Grammarly IOS is also helpful to me check before submit on software of school.
     
  13. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    It sounds interesting. Does it present phrases for you to approve or automatically make changes on it’s own? I usually reread my posts before posting to make sure they sound coherent, but I’m not always successful, hence some number of edits, frequently. o_O
     
  14. kazmac macrumors 603

    kazmac

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    #14
    Many thanks for mentioning those, :) I've bookmarked. Both together (with a lifetime sub to ProWritingAid) are a little more than what Grammarly charges per year. I already like how HemingWay works.
     
  15. kazmac, Oct 7, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

    kazmac macrumors 603

    kazmac

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    #15
    Just an update, if you have a subscription to Office 365, MS's "Editor" feature in Word is a lot like Grammarly only better. It will not only check spelling and show the word(s) in context at the same time, but offer solid suggestions.

    I had to get Office 365 and am very happy to have a feature that could easily justify my paying for the annual subscription.

    Office 365 isn't very robust, so I went ahead with ProWritingAid.

    That said, HemingWay looks like the most economical and user friendly Grammarly replacement. I will still look into HemingWay eventually.
     
  16. kazmac macrumors 603

    kazmac

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    #16
    Update: bought a two subscription to ProWritingAid today. I did a test run and within 15 minutes bought a two year subscription. It blows Grammarly out of the water and also supports a variety of documents (General, Academic, writing.) Plus the subscription rates are nowhere near as ridiculous as Grammarly. Paid $75 for two years compared to $140 for a single year of Grammarly.

    After you upload a doc or paste text into the window, you click on summary in the menu up top which generates a report featuring Grammar, Style, Overused words, paragraph readability (how easy or hard your paragraph is to read) etc. You can run your work through each one of these filters to correct as you go.

    I noticed ProWritingAid was a little glitchy in Safari using the web version (not extensions or desktop versions), but it's nothing too annoying and I got used to it very quickly.

    So thank you again @Zenithal for mentioning this software and Hemingway (which I might try somewhere down the road.) :)
     
  17. Zenithal macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #17
    Glad to hear you enjoy it. I've got some good news and some bad news for you.

    Bad news: I had forgotten about your thread by the time November rolled around. You could have saved a lot of money.

    Good news: Sign up for AppSumo for software deals exclusive to their members. Membership is free. For Black Friday, they offered a 50% off lifetime access license to Pro Writing Aid.

    Some very good news: I'm not sure what the refund policy is, but if you can cancel and get your money back, wait a week and then apply 'CYBERCOOP17' as a voucher code and you can get the lifetime license for about $90. Or better yet, talk to them and see if you can upgrade to lifetime and apply that voucher. They'll charge the difference.


    @kazmac

    I'm surprised the voucher code still works. It's worth the effort, IMO.

    Edit: It appears the 50% voucher code applies to all licenses, not just the lifetime. The 2 year licensing term is $37.05.
     
  18. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #18
    Oh, dear. Very frustrating.

    'Friend' (in an email to a close friend) was altered to 'fiend'.
     
  19. Zenithal macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #19
    I disabled the autocorrect in the third-party SMS app I use on my phones. Free to do so on the free version, too, IIRC. Autocorrect has always been a massive pain.
     
  20. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #20
    Can you disable it only for certain language keyboards while keeping it on for others?
     
  21. Zenithal macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2009
    #21
    I'm not quite sure actually. I've got four languages set up on my phones. With Android, there's a little complexity. Each interface has its own settings layer. It was also a set it and forget it deal for me. So the SMS app may have taken it out at some point or made it different in relation to the base layer (raw phone). In any case, I do use Swift Key to be able to quickly change between input languages. I believe it's available on iOS, too. With both apps, I can change it enough so I can quickly figure out which phone I'm holding. In any case, I disable autocorrect because it's wrong 99% of the time. Predictive texting is worse. I consider it a crime against humanity. That was a joke.

    I would definitely try and see if it works for you. I'm sure there's better apps these days, but I'm a bit of a curmudgeon it comes to trying out new apps to replace ones I've been using for years.
     
  22. kazmac, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018

    kazmac macrumors 603

    kazmac

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    Location:
    On the sliver scream
    #22
    I just emailed ProWritingAid directly about this. Thanks.

    BIG virtual hugs and thanks! You've been awesome.

    UPDATE: After saying that Cyber code was no longer valid, ProWritingAid offered me a deal that was not much more than what you quoted for a lifetime license. I am waiting for the offer and refund.
     
  23. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    Aug 19, 2008
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    The Anthropocene
    #23
    To hell with predictive texting, and autocorrect messes me up way more than helps when I type in English. But autocorrect is somewhat useful for a couple other languages I type in, where I’m still learning the layout of all the characters.
     
  24. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #24
    Yes, agreed; for that matter, in English not only is it a bit of a nuisance ('fiend' indeed) but it is actively counter-productive.
     
  25. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Sunny, Southern California
    #25
    I have been using the free version for quite some time and holy smokes, I don't know when it was updated, but these last few months have been driving me crazy.

    Example: When a word is misspelt, Grammarly will underline it for you, so if you backspace back to the word in questions, Grammarly skips the word and sometimes combines the two words as you are backspacing. Super frustrating because now you have to use the mouse.

    I don't use it in my word processing, this is for the web, the chrome/firefox extension. I haven't been on Firefox enough lately to see if it does the above also, but on Chrome, it drives me nuts. So much so, that I have been thinking about uninstalling it also.
     

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