I have just canceled my subscription to Grammarly’s writing tool, and after having sent a ranty email to Grammarly’s PR rep I thought it would be helpful to share my criticism of the service.
I have a different opinion.
I’ve been using Grammarly’s Chrome extension for four months now, and I have a problem with Grammarly’s definition of an error and with how it allows me to fix said “errors”.
My issues with Grammarly are two-fold: the service has a very limited vocabulary, and its developers have programmed it to exhibit the moral certainty that it knows better than users.
In terms of vocabulary, I am paying $84 a year for a service that throws false positives when it tries to spellcheck common acronyms, many tech company names, and common technical terms like “ebook”.
Now, the limited vocabulary would not be an issue if not for the fact that Grammarly frequently doesn’t let me add words to a custom dictionary unless I visit its site.
And then there’s the way that Grammarly responds to the “errors” it finds.
If, for example, I refer to an author’s ebooks, Grammarly will block me from inserting a link on the word ebooks until after I have resolved the false positive. As a result I sometimes end up with links like this:
The ebooks can be found here.
That is annoying, but there is a bigger problem.
When I am trying to fix an error Grammarly sometimes makes the cursor jump around in ways that interfere with my typing and causes more errors.
Grammarly assumes users are only going to use its service to fix errors. Its developers did not take into account that some users like to correct the text by retyping the correct word or manually deleting the incorrect characters.
If I move the cursor to the end of the incorrect word so I can use the backspace key to delete it, Grammarly sometimes jumps the cursor to the beginning. It will even move the cursor while I am in the middle of deleting the word with the backspace key, which means that several words get mashed together.
If I am not careful the problem will snowball and I will end up with something like this:
I usually catch this problem by the time Grammarly has screwed up three words, and use the undo keyboard shortcut to fix it, but that doesn’t change the fact that Grammarly frequently causes even bigger errors than it is fixing.
O O O
I have been a paying user of Grammarly for the past four months, and I have never been happy with it. It has honestly caused more problems than it solved.
And unfortunately, these are problems that the developers don’t seem to be interested in solving.
I have tweeted at Grammarly on Twitter every once in a while, complaining about the issues I have encountered, but they have never responded. So when I found myself screaming at my computer this morning after Grammarly ruined yet another forum comment, I knew I had to share my complaints.
Tell me, have you had any issues with Grammarly, or a similar tool?