I've been experimenting with the online writing service Grammarly recently. In fact, I used Grammarly to grammar check this post because I fear free dentistry and because I want to learn to write gooder.
And it never hurts to have another set of eyes on one's work. Especially when it's an automated service, kind of like the spell checker in Word or Open Office, except more like The Terminator.
Word Up! by Marcia Reifer Johnston (which Marcia and I discussed earlier this year HERE) and it inspired me to do a blog post on writing craft.
For example, raise your hand if you know what a compound adjective is. Also known as a phrasal adjective. Marcia discusses these critters, and the hyphens who love them, in her chapter "Hyphens Unite!" Marcia uses the following example:
"[Consider] a sign not far from my neighborhood. In large letters, it gives this command: FEAR FREE DENTISTRY. Maybe these dentists intend to scare people away from free dentistry. Probably, though, they intend to advertise fear-free dentistry. (Their omission scares me away. I don't want anyone that sloppy coming at me with a drill.)"
See how important a tiny little hyphen can be? And see how funny Marcia is? This is not another dry style guide. It's fun!
You should, too.
Marcia is looking to reach 80 Amazon reviews for Word Up! She's halfway to her goal.
Here's how to add your two or more cents:
1. Go to the Word Up! review page.
2. Click Create your own review.
Thanks for considering this request. No obligation, of course. And no expectations. Whatever you might say, she will appreciate your comments.
Now, for the results of the Grammarly check of this blog post, here's what Grammarly had to say:
23 writing issues and a score of 62 out of 100. D-minus. Appalling. It seems I must write more good.
Note that a free trial is available to play around with Grammarly. After that they offer subscriptions:
Depending upon your needs, Grammarly could prove highly effective and valuable, especially considering the cost of hiring a freelance proofreader.