LIFE YOUR DOING IT AWL WRONG
I Uninstalled Grammarly
If you read almost any article about “how to make money” on Medium, at some point the writer writing the post about how to write well will extol the virtues of a software product called Grammarly. One of those writers did such a good job, she convinced me that I had to have this software on my computer, but after five aggravating weeks I deleted Grammarly because not only does it not know as much as it thinks it knows, the “errors” it makes will, over time, become standard, and we will be all the poorer for it.
One of my first aggravations with the software was that it was constantly trying to get me to use the wrong their/there/they’re. I would type in the correct form, and Grammarly would put that ugly little red line under my word choice. It was a threat level red error, so the software would not explain why it wanted me to us the their/there/they’re it was promoting and suggested that I buy a monthly subscription to learn the precise error of my ways.
But what Grammarly didn’t know was that I had taught writing for a decade, and while I am far from perfect, I know when to use their, there, and they’re, and what I learned from the annoying red line is that Grammarly does not.
I had not fully understood how Grammarly worked when I downloaded it — I did not realize it would comment on all the writing I did, including emails, tweets, Facebook posts, and Ravelry notes — so when the annoying red squiggles started popping up everywhere, I erroneously assumed that the onscreen nastygrams were when I wrote were tied to some egregiously awful improvement to the operating system on my computer.
As with so many things in life the problem was user error. I never should have downloaded Grammarly in the first place. I was spending too much time second guessing myself and looking up things I had previously known.
And almost as annoying as the time I was wasting was this fact:
Grammarly was wrong.
Every. Single. Time.
The last straw came when I was trying to write a tweet. I needed to use “any one,” but Grammarly was bound and determined to redline me into writing “anyone.” I knew I was right, but I spent valuable minutes of my life that I won’t ever get back checking to make sure.
It was at that point that I asked myself, “Why am I using a tool that makes writing more difficult?”
So I googled “how to uninstall Grammarly.” Once I had accomplished that technical feat, I decided to find out how to report problems with the software.
Grammarly’s business plan is nothing short of brilliant. You, the user, can submit a case to them when their product doesn’t work properly and explain what the problem is. Most businesses hire employees who are supposed to do that job, but Grammarly is crowdsourcing their QA, and you are either doing it for free, or, worse, you are paying for the privilege with a subscription to their product.
My question is this: Why on earth should ANYONE pay for Grammarly when their solution to helping people who want help with writing is to have those same people crowdsource its improvement?
Like any human, I cannot write without making errors, but unlike Grammarly, I don’t charge you for the privilige of telling me I’m wrong, and I don’t waste your time trying to get you to change things that are already correct so you can make them wrong.
When I told my husband about my aggravation with Grammarly, he didn’t know what I was talking about. His experience had been completely different. Instead of underlining the their/there/they’re that he uses, it’s says “We’re all good! No error! Let me buy you a beer” even when there is an error.
His advice to me: enable the beer bro extensions.
Disclaimer: Any and all errors in this post are my own.