Beware of Grammar Software "Errors"

Choose Better Proofreading

Do you use software or apps to catch your grammar mistakes? While technology can be a very useful tool, technology also has limitations. 

For example, should you use “err” or “air” in a sentence? Consider the wording of the following sentences:

  • It is human to err, especially with grammar. 
  • It is human to air, especially with grammar. 
  • It is human to err your grievances. 
  • It is human to air your grievances. 

Can you catch the mistake? A qualified human editor can, but computers often struggle with these. 

Some automation may miss that “to air” in reference to grammar would be incorrect. Perhaps the automation does not distinguish between “err” and “air,” thus overlooking an obvious mistake. Errors like these can be embarrassing. Sometimes they ruin an entire document. 

On the other hand, some automated editors (such as spellcheck or Grammarly) might mark this incorrect; in that case, would automation also catch the nuance when the meaning changes? While “to err” is correct in itself, it cannot be used when saying “to err your grievances.”
In other words, automation cannot always sense the meaning of a sentence — and even when it does, software and apps have even more trouble with rhetoric. This is why human editors matter so much. A person can see the difference between “err” and “air” in various sentences — understanding what the author intends to say. Meanwhile, automation can only guess, in a very limited sense.
Of course, this is merely one example. Consider the infinite amount of similar cases. Wording varies beyond what computers can process, especially considering the fact that meaning changes over time! To complicate even further, consider cases such as sarcasm, satire, or humor; automation makes even more errors in these cases, since it cannot distinguish between different senses of words.
This is why PaperBlazer recommends using human editors. When engaging in human communication, nothing can defeat the human mind. So don’t depend upon a computer to analyze your writing; get an expert to help.