I am currently using Grammarly as my writing editor, not to replace my IRL editor, Doreen, but to make her life easier so she doesn’t have to read grammatically incorrect sentences.
Have you ever read the style guides (The Chicago Manual of Style for example)? Wow, what a dry read. No cliffhangers, lacking in definitive plot lines, and terrible character development. Hats off to all the editors out there for dedicating themselves to the policing of the bastardization of language us writers continually commit.
I learned my writing habits without the aid of spellcheck—that’s what the teachers were for—and one of the references we had was the dictionary*. The catch-22 for that was if you didn’t know how to spell it, it was difficult to look up. At least kindergarten taught us how to know the first letter of a word—unless it was knife, gnu, phlegm, mnemonic, honest, aisle, psychiatrist —well, you get the idea, and now you are wondering what kindergarten class teaches those words . . .
I wrote most of my university papers by hand, and it wasn’t until I returned to schooling that I discovered the wonders of technology and was able to forget everything I knew because now I didn’t need to clutter my brain with grammar rules.
But I do pride myself in writing well-crafted, relatively grammatically correct, first drafts, so that the second drafts are not as painful to complete.
My most common error (although the title gave it away) according to my ever-watchful Grammarly:
What’s your most common error?
*Ahh, the dictionary. Remember the large tome at the back of the room with the scalloped pages?
Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
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