That’s not to say we don’t need rules, but language– both spoken and written– is a dynamic organism which evolves. That explains why you can’t read the King James Bible and understand it.
The dynamic nature of language means it’s probably difficult for a computer app such as Grammarian Pro to make much difference in a Mac user’s writing. Don’t get me wrong. I would love it if my Mac could tell me what I’m doing wrong, gently correct my mistakes– both grammar and spelling– but it, or, rather, the apps that try, don’t really do a good job.
It’s like traffic signs in Italy. They’re really more like suggestions than rules.
The idea behind Grammarian Pro is sound. Correct spelling and improve grammar (at least, according to the more than 200 built-in grammatical writing rules). Spelling checkers all have a similar problem. Context. Their and there have different meanings and uses, sound alike, but are spelled differently. Here and hear is another example.
Grammarian Pro is useful, though mostly because of the number of items in the writer’s toolkit. Spell checker. Interactive grammar checking. Dictionary and thesaurus. Punctuation checker. Style checker. Plus autocorrect and auto type. The app does a better job than OS X’s built-in dictionary, and based upon the price tag, it should.
Spell checking can be done interactively as you type, or after you type to check an entire document. Other than being a digital writing nanny, what I like about Grammarian Pro the most are the stats.
I’ve used Grammarian Pro off and on for a number of years and it still looks and feels like a Mac app from OS X Cheetah, but it has few features worth considering. Statistics on a sentence-by-sentence basis is good. Dictionaries can be switched on the fly. Markup is automatic, but it also checks HTML and LaTeX documents.
Grammarian Pro can find double negatives, understands relative pronouns (changing ‘that’ to ‘who’ for example) and even doubles down on prepositions. It even adds hyphens where they should go, and drops in missing commas in numbers.
Grammarian Pro would be a good addition to any website which allows (and receives plenty) of comments, but it’s a Mac only app, quite essential if you write for a living, otherwise it’s an ongoing and annoying reminder that what your parents paid for your college education was probably too much.