Fun with Grammarly
As you may recall, I’ve been using Grammarly on occasion to check over my musings. I even went so far as to purchase the Premium version, only to find that I disagreed with some of its advice on repeated words and punctuation .
One interesting aspect of having a Grammarly account is that they send me a weekly report. Let’s look at the data from this week’s report.
1229709 words checked. You wrote more words than 99% of Grammarly users did.
Yes, I’m sure that I had actually written over one million words, I would have written more words than 99% of Grammarly users. But I’m pretty sure that I wrote significantly fewer words. It’s just that with the letter to the incoming chair, it feels like I wrote over one million words.
1687 unique words used. You have a larger vocabulary than 95% of Grammarly users.
Given that the first piece of data was wrong, should I trust this one? Let’s see … what did it say the prior weeks? 1985 unique words last week. 1606 about a month ago when I was using it more regularly. So, yes, that seems reasonable .
Does the number of words I use when writing indicate the size of my vocabulary? I don’t think so. There are words in my vocabulary, like ennui and defenestrate, that I rarely, if ever, use in these musings . But perhaps they’ve done careful studies about the ratio of words used in Grammarly-reviewed writing to actual vocabulary size . It’s a bit sad that 1700 or so words is a larger range than most of Grammarly writers use . I wonder what that says about their user community?
Dear Grammarly Developers: If you really want to provide data that I would use and perhaps even pay for, you might consider counting the number of snarky remarks I make.
 I don’t disagree with the claim that some variety is good. And I don’t disagree with the claim that in the US, punctuation belongs inside quotation marks. I do, however, disagree with the text and examples that they used to support those assertions.
 It is a bit depressing to think that I used fewer than two-thousand unique words in writing over a million words. Maybe Grammarly is right about repetition.
 This may be the first time I’ve used
ennui. Does anyone remember when I last used
 No, I don’t think so.
 Grammarly says that I should write
1700 or so words are a larger group than …. That feels wrong to me. Why? There’s an implicit
a group of 1700 or so words, which makes the subject singular. I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect their AI to make such fine distinctions.
Version 1.0 released 2017-06-05.
Version 1.0.1 of 2019-03-12.