Dictionary.com Word FAQs
Is it worth it to use a word processor's grammar or style checker?
It is worth using an electronic grammar and style checker from the standpoint of learning something. Such software should never run on automatic (the same for a spell checker), but rather be set to interactive mode. By seeing what the electronic checker flags, you can see erroneous or questionable usages. Grammar and style checkers often make suggestions and say consider revising this or that. You will have to look carefully at the sentence and the context around it, analyzing the suggestion. Sometimes you will have to consult a reference book or online grammar guide to get more information before making a change. Grammar checkers attempt to do text analysis at a syntactical level and at a deeper and more logical level to understand the relationship between the actions and the people, or things, doing those actions. Grammar checkers often use advanced parsing techniques to understand the sentence structure, but some rely mainly on pattern matching. Pattern matching uses a technique that matches the checked text against patterns of text stored in an internal database. You should keep in mind that no matter what the basis of the software is, it has shortcomings. For example, most grammar checkers are not sophisticated enough to detect grammatical errors in long sentences or to recognize sentence fragments.