Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grammar and Word Choice

There are countless articles about grammar on writing websites and blogs.  This is not going to be "one of those."

Writers have an endless path in front of us as we sit down at a blank page.  Will the path take you to the dark and stormy coast? Or maybe to through a tangle of dense trees.  We spin a tale of mystery, or romance, or misery just through our words.  Sometimes we just need to get words on a page. 

One of the tools I use is the grammar check option in Word 2007.  Sometimes it picks on words that I've used and a popup asks me if I'm sure (although it has not started saying "recalculating" like the lady on my GPS. LOL.)  Over the weekend it thought my use of the word "fishermen" was too gender specific and it wondered if I didn't want to use the word "angler" instead.  Not that my use of the word was passive (which Word tells me sometimes) or used incorrectly.

At first I was surprised (and lightly annoyed, if I'm honest).  "Angler" is a completely different word and has a different tone.  And I really did mean "fishermen" in my sentence.  But then I thought how cool that my software program was reminding me to be inclusive--just in case I had forgotten.

Do any of your writing tools talk to you?


Julie Musil said...

That's funny! I just have spell checker, but of course that gets it wrong sometimes too.

Your post reminds me that we have a portable GPS that my husband uses in the car, and the woman's voice is annoying. We now call her the girlfriend, and we shut her off when I'm in the car.

Laura Pauling said...

That's too funny. No, I just get the squiggly green line under grammar issues, which half the time I ignore. But no talking voices or words suggestion.

Now if we got a talking tool that understood our voice and how we write...that might be cool.

Kris said...

I set Word to the grammar check-which I do like. But I'd never had it alert me to gender specific language before! LOL!

MT said...

I have Word 2007, but it doesn't do all that for me. Is there something I should know? I'd like to give it a try.

MT said...

Wait, I just read your comment above mine. I'll do some fishing/angling around to see if I can figure it out. :)