Man sitting at a table writing in a notebook with another book closed next to him.
Technology, Writing

Is It Just Me or Is Something Wrong with Grammarly?

It doesn’t seem to be working as accurately as it used too

Image of a yellow book titled, “Everyday English” on top of a table.

Have you noticed that Grammarly hasn’t been as accurate lately? I’ve been writing and sending my posts to a variety of publications in an effort to try to get my name out there. Many publications suggest that you use Grammarly to prevent easily fixed grammatical and spelling mistakes, but lately it’s Grammarly that’s been making the mistakes.

At first, I thought I was crazy because it’s not completely wrong all of the time. However, I think that Grammarly’s programming has changed recently which made it not as accurate as before. I’m sure this will be fixed eventually, but it made me realize that I sometimes rely way too much on a program to catch my mistakes for me.

Don’t get me wrong, most of my mistakes are typos, not grammatical, but regardless, I’ve come to expect a program to tell me or automatically fix errors. There are many reasons why the concept of Grammarly is amazing. It helps so many people in so many ways. However, Grammarly is making me lazy the more reliant I become on it. And if it wasn’t for this error, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

Screenshot I took of Grammarly incorrectly suggesting I use “doesn’t” when I should use “don’t”
Screenshot of an incorrect Grammarly suggestion.

The above image is a screenshot I took of one of the Grammarly mistakes I’ve experienced while writing a different post. It wanted me to change “don’t” to “doesn’t” when my original diction was already correct. And this isn’t one of those mistakes that just lasted for a moment. As I edited this post for hours the suggestion remained.

What I’ve Learned

This experience made me wonder how many people may be starting to forget certain grammatical rules due to an over-reliance on Grammarly. Or even worse, people who speak English as a second language (ESOL) may be learning incorrect grammatical rules from Grammarly. Like I said earlier, Grammarly still works well most of the time, but I’m concerned that these occasional errors will make me and others second guess themselves and go with Grammarly’s suggestion, even when it’s incorrect, just because of the reputation of the program.

I think the worst part of this experience is realizing that Grammarly was making me a worse writer. I’ve become so reliant on Grammarly that I will just get my ideas out without thinking too much about the mistakes I might be making along the way. Initially, this sounds like a good thing. I knew that Grammarly had my back. I no longer needed to go back and edit my work. However, if you don’t use a skill you’ll lose it.

I need to work on being a more self-reliant writer. I cannot improve if every time I make a mistake it is automatically corrected for me. I’m happy I’ve realized this issue early on in my writing career. Practice makes habit, and I want to be in the habit of not needing too much help from Grammarly, if at all.

I plan to still use Grammarly, but I’m going to try to rely on it less. I’m going to make an effort to actually practice grammatical and spelling exercises. I’ve found websites online, like Khan Academy and Perfect English Grammar, to practice my grammar. I plan to work on my spelling more often too. I have a slight reading disability, so sometimes I have a hard time with spelling, however, the best way to overcome a problem is to work on it head-on.

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