You really can t blame folks for the confusion when it comes to English spelling and grammar. The English language is evolving even as you speak. What was once unthinkable is now common and accepted. Comma placements that used to be a must are now optional, and new words are added to respected English dictionaries on a regular basis. Those are just the obvious changes. The ongoing English evolution may be the best reason of all to go with an online grammar check service. An online grammar check can help keep your writing in line with all the latest language shifts.
In the Oxford Dictionary of English alone there were 1,900 revisions to the edition released in March 2011. New words included muffin top, headline (as a verb), LOL and couch surf. Editors also added la-la land, which can refer to Los Angeles or to a state of being out of touch with reality.
Many of the changes over time reflect changes in technology. New words accommodate concepts that did not even exist before. For instance, the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary added the term vlog in the last two years. It refers to a blog containing video material. Tweetup, a meeting arranged through Twitter, was another recent addition, joining the Oxford Dictionary of English in 2010.
Words like staycation and frenemy were inducted into Merriam-Webster at about the same time, a good example of how slang words have a way of becoming legitimate over time as well.
The way all of these old and new words get put together evolves as well. Sentences like this continue to give English speakers fits: There can be trepidation when a blogger considers (his/her/their) first posting. The lack of an English word to refer to singular pronouns that have no particular gender has prompted several solutions. Writers sometimes alternate between his and her throughout a document in question. Others opt for s/he, a sort of hybrid pronoun. More and more the use of their is coming to be accepted by many English speakers. Some grammarians remain unconvinced, however. A grammar check on a regular basis is very much in order.
Comma rules continue to evolve too. For example, some writing environments insist on the use of what is called an Oxford comma and some do not. The Oxford comma is the one that comes before the final conjunction in a list in a sentence like this: She packed her coat, hat(,) and gloves just in case.
Even the English usage rules that don t change can warrant a grammar check now and then, especially for those who learned English as a second language. Native and non-native speakers alike find themselves looking up the difference between affect and effect, lay and lie, and it s and its.
Online grammar check services cannot save you from every potential mistake, but they certainly can help. The fact that they are not boxed in like some traditional software means manufacturers easily can do their own grammar check and pass the information on to you for your own grammar checks. Confused about which online grammar check is best for you? We can help.