TL;DR: The best solution so far for grammar check is Grammarly, a free spellchecking service with OS X app and Chrome extension.
Grammar for me is hard. English is not my native language and in addition to that, I have a case of minor dyslexia. This makes my life hard when I need to write something down. And I don’t mean shopping list, but something smart, as this blog post for example.
Spell check solution
To have a spellchecker on your laptop or mobile is easy – it’s there by default (on most systems at least). How it works is very straightforward and primitive. When you write down a word, the computer checks if this word is in the dictionary. If the word is not in there, it applies a red underline. Some “smart” spellchecks even go and try to find a word in the dictionary that is similar (or starts like) your miserable attempt.
Now, this is great if we were in 1995. Today I would expect that some context would be considered, especially when suggesting a spelling fix. Even with all the words correctly written, your content could still make no sense or would just sound wrong. When I mean sound wrong, I mean grammatically incorrect. And what happens when you post a Facebook update, Tweet or (God forbids) a blog post with grammar mistake? The hell breaks loose. Your friends, who only write when they are sexting, become grammar nazis all of a sudden!
Proper grammar check
That is why a grammar monkey like me needs a proper spell and grammar check solution. I had found it when I was fed up with my work colleague making fun of me. It was easy for him, he spent 20+ years in Canada, finished school and wrote a blog post before there were even simple spellcheckers available (and almost before the Internet as he made a website for GM when I was still playing with Legos).
After research, Grammarly was the winner. Since I use the browser for 90% of my writing, it was critical for me to be available as a Chrome extension.
What Grammarly promises:
Grammarly makes sure everything you type
is easy to read, effective, and mistake-free.
Features that I love most:
- Spell checking understanding the context (grammatical tense, declension, etc)
- Placing commas! This is HUGE.
- Vocabulary enhancement suggestions that make your content more exciting.
I started by using the free version but was soon tempted for Premium. The value of grammatically correct emails and blog posts can be lots of money. A good blog post can bring in more readers and professional email might result in getting a new client. There is one other thing I like, second brain. What this means is that now I have an assistant that looks over my shoulders as I type.
The problem with good spell checkers is that they make us even
more dumb dumber (yes I actually made this mistake, and Grammarly corrected it).