I use Grammarly. Because it’s a plugin for both the browser and Word, it ‘sees’ most of the stuff I write. Grammarly sees it and then tells me about it.
Once a week I get a report on my writing. Some weeks it’s a little skewed because I might be writing a story and edit it a number of times. Grammarly does not keep track of stuff I already edited, so the weekly word count can be off by quite a lot.
Say, for instance, I open up my NaNoWriMo novel or, as was the case one week, I was beta-reading for a fellow writer. Well then, my word count goes up a whole lot, and my errors statistics get all skewed.
Here’s some music for them interested in it:
However, for the weeks where it’s mostly me writing this blog, e-mails, comments on various blogs, or comments on my blog, the statistics are fairly consistent.
On a typical week, I write between 10,000 and 20,000 words. That is enough to rank me on the top 99% of Grammarly users.
The odd thing is that I traveled one week, and only wrote around 3,000 words . . . and that still ranked me in the top 97%. Makes me wonder why people have Grammarly if they write that little.
The number of errors per week put me, depending on the week, in the 55% to 87% range as far as accuracy, again, relative to other users. That is, I’m more accurate than 55-87% of Grammarly users.
That is unlikely to get any better because . . .
That’s right; . . .
You see, I get an error for using “unnecessary ellipsis”, but it does not stop there. With each one of those there is an associated “incorrect spacing”, “wrong punctuation” (as in the previous two words paragraph), and “failure to capitalize the first word in a sentence”.
And that’s not even counting what I call stylistic issues; I am wont to use incorrect verbs and words for effect, humor, or just plain orneriness. For instance, Grammarly flagged ‘wont’ as a possible mistake . . . there, it done dit it again . . . plus the ellipsis and the “past participle with an auxiliary verb”.
. . . and more punctuation . . . I throw stuff in there because I want it there. Plus, whenever I save a draft, all the issues I already dismissed (ellipsis, for instance) get flagged again.
I do get high marks for “dynamic writing”. That is calculated by the number of unique words I use. In that regard, I am again better than 97 to 99 percent of Grammarly users.
So, should I feel good about my general and/or fiction writing?
Here’s another piece of music I like:
Well, OK . . . I do know few people like my writing, be it fiction, opinions, or comments. Be it on Facebook or blogs, my opinionated comments seldom (rarely, infrequently, not often – just trying to keep up my unique words count) get any of the “likes” people liberally throw around like confetti at a clown wedding.
The sad truth is that I know few people (probably ‘no people’) who want to hear my opinions. That includes friends and family, so you can imagine how strangers react to me having an opinion about something or other. Imagine harder, as I seldom fall in step with the marching masses.
I am rarely B&W on any subject. In part, that comes from a lot of reading, discussions, and listening to people with differing opinions. Some I adopt, some I reject, and others I modify per my reasoning. I’m constantly modifying my understanding of “stuff”, but that does not happen unless someone can articulate a good reason for me to do so.
Here’s what surprises me; people today are not interested in hearing anything outside their own interpretation of “how things are”. Name a topic — religion, race, politics, or any of today’s hot-button issues — and if one does not entirely and fully agree with the narrative of a given speaker . . . well, let’s just say I usually walk away promising myself to avoid such discussions.
But, that’s the other thing . . . it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a) others genuinely want to hear and debate a given topic, and b) that people will respect the fact there is never a non-nuanced position to any subject.
The stuff I like to discuss is especially interesting because it’s chock-full of nuances and gray areas. I won’t discuss, for instance, broccoli. The stuff if foul, and it weaponizes flatulence just a shade this side of radishes. Broccoli is not a nuanced subject.
But take politics, religion, or any subject people are passionate about, and you will find a tendency to turn complex subjects and ideas into absolute truths.
Even if that were possible, something can be an absolute truth for one person and be completely different from the absolute truth a different person holds on the same exact subject.
Take politics . . . people have a tendency to imagine all Republicans think alike, as do all Democrats, or all women, or all men, or all gays, or all African-Americans, and so on. That’s just not the case. People, intelligent and curious people, can generally agree on stuff but still hold vastly different opinions on the particulars. Important opinions on important particulars.
How are we ever going to solve anything, affect change, make meaningful progress toward a better society if we don’t even acknowledge other people may have worthwhile opinions? How does one even assess the opinion of others if the starting point is their opinion has no value?
That is the sad state of affairs, and I fear the Internet has exacerbated the situation. Few people like in-depth discussions; nope . . . a blurb is all that is needed to fully explore any given subject; Republicans bad, Democrats bad, Liberals bad, Conservatives bad.
Where I a conspiracy nut, I would suspect a large and nefarious organization is at work undermining useful communication, casting people against each other based on very strict battle lines that allow for no concessions of any kinds and aimed at keeping the state of society and the world in constant unbalance . . . after all, if we solved a lot of our problems why would we need activists, pundits, politicians, etc.?
. . . sometimes I wish there was such an organization for then there would be some hope of improving things by eradicating it. But no . . . it’s just people.
So, I keep resolving to avoid discussions; sure, I fail here and there, but less and less frequently. Soon I will reach perfect harmony with everyone around me both in real life and my virtual life; we’ll just talk of puppies, food, and the weather as the world goes to hell in a handbasket.
. . . hopefully after I have left my corporeal manifestation and reverted back into star stuff.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.