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I was just reading this post and this question popped in my head.

I have used Grammarly for a few months now and I use it to fix grammatical errors in a post or just assist me in writing better questions(like this one).

Around 5-10% was purely my edits, 80-85% was assisted by Grammarly(i.e Corrections done by Grammarly plus some edits of mine like formatting improvements, etc.) and a small percentage were done purely by Grammarly.

Even though everything I said above was focused on Grammarly, the question is, are these tools allowed on the platform?

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  • Is this an Ubuntu question? Is Grammarly available for Linux? Dec 30, 2022 at 11:00
  • 1
    As a browser extension, yes(But as an app, no), but I asked on this site because askubuntu.com is where I edit the majority of the posts on.
    – Rishon JR
    Dec 30, 2022 at 11:04
  • I am trialing Grammarly now, thank you. Dec 30, 2022 at 14:15

2 Answers 2

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Generally using Grammarly or spellcheck to correct your own content is fine. As long as its fixing language and not creating (broken) content - its a fairly normal thing to do, and it feels like a beneficial thing.

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    Is it fine on other posts too?(like editing other posts and fixing them)
    – Rishon JR
    Dec 30, 2022 at 10:33
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    @RishonJR It should be fine as long as you don't change the meaning and intention of the post and don't use overly-complicated language (which often apps like Grammarly suggest). Dec 30, 2022 at 10:37
  • Thanks for the clarification.
    – Rishon JR
    Dec 30, 2022 at 10:38
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tl;dr Consider ChatGPT for some assistance as well, perhaps in combination with Grammarly. Many grammar tools are becoming AI-assisted, including Grammarly and even the Microsoft Office grammar-tool, but I think ChatGPT currently provides the best improvements by far.

Preface:

  • I'm a bit of a grammar nut, but pobody's nerfect, and I make my fair share of typos (and more). If I was writing in a second language (as many people here are), I would make far, far, far more. So please don't take any of my comments below as criticism. I know I would do far worse if I was in your position.

  • While we require posts here to be in English (for good reason), I believe that lack of mastery in the language should not (within reason) be a barrier that prevents anyone from posting here. I've seen a person on another Stack Exchange site argue that posts with very poor grammar should be closed, but I strongly disagree. If a post can be fixed by another community member then it wasn't "unclear" in the first place.

  • Voice-to-text transcription obviously provides a huge benefit in Accessibility, but the results can often look like poor grammar, even if the original input was perfect.

  • I make quite a few edits to posts that need a bit (or more) of grammatical assistance. I haven't done a direct comparison, but I'll make a guess that I'm (currently, at least) the most prolific editor here when it comes to grammar.

  • As I mentioned in the post you linked, I've used ChatGPT a few times for grammar assistance.

With that in mind, since your question here still had a few grammatical issues after Grammarly was done with it, I was curious what ChatGPT would suggest. To do this:

  • I copied the Markdown source of your question to the clipboard
  • In ChatGPT, asked "Improve the grammar of the following:" then Shift+Enter (twice) to add some link breaks.
  • Pasted the Markdown from the clipboard.

Here's the end result:

I was reading this post when a question came to mind. I have been using Grammarly for a few months to fix grammatical errors in my posts and to help me write better questions like this one. Around 5-10% of my edits are purely mine, while 80-85% are assisted by Grammarly (that is, corrections made by Grammarly plus some of my own edits, like formatting improvements). A small percentage of the edits are done purely by Grammarly.

Although I have been talking about Grammarly, my question is: are these types of tools allowed on this platform?

Advantages:

  • The grammar is (IMHO) almost perfect. One might nitpick the use of the colon in the last sentence, but that use is so commonly accepted nowadays that I don't have an issue with it personally.

  • The meaning is (again, mostly) intact.

  • I think ChatGPT's suggestion to combine the first 3 paragraphs is probably correct. I don't think I would have done that myself when editing.

Disadvantages:

  • It should have left "like this one" in parenthesis.

  • It added added the word, "my" in "errors in my posts", which is not what you said originally. The generally term "errors in posts" would have been more accurate. ChatGPT may have been confused by the "a post" from the original, which was also technically inaccurate.

  • Some word replacement choices weren't "ideal", but that's a subjective viewpoint. Personally, I think your (or Grammarly's) use of "i.e." was better than ChatGPT's "that is".

  • "of my edits" may not be technically correct. A better "fix" might have been "of the edits I make".

If I had been editing manually, here are the changes I would have made:

I was just reading this post, and this question popped into my head.

I have used Grammarly for a few months now, and I use it to fix grammatical errors in posts. I also use it to assist me in writing better questions (like this one).

Around 5-10% were purely my edits, 80-85% were assisted by Grammarly (i.e. corrections done by Grammarly plus some edits of mine like formatting improvements, etc.), and a small percentage were done purely by Grammarly.

Even though everything I said above was focused on Grammarly, the question is, are these tools allowed on the platform?

So the following changes:

  • Changed "in my head" to "into my head". The idea "entered" your head, so it came "into".

  • Added commas to separate the two independent sentences (technically clauses, I believe) in two different cases.

  • Broke the "or …" part of one of those off into its own sentence to avoid it "running on" too long.

  • Added spaces before the opening parenthesis.

  • Changed "was" to "were". Since "edits" is plural, it requires the plural verb "were". For instance:

    • The man was happy.
    • The men were happy.
  • Corrected "i.e" to "i.e.". I probably would not have noticed this if it hadn't been flagged by the basic "text box grammar check" in my browser (no extension).

  • Extended the markdown link to include "this post".

  • Made "corrections" lowercase.

Of course, most all of these were also fixed by ChatGPT.


Of the three versions, on a scale of 1-10, I'd score:

  • Grammarly: 7.8. It's certainly readable, and would have been no danger of being closed for being "unclear", so that's a win.
  • ChatGPT: 9.7. As I said above, it's nearly perfect.
  • NotTheDr01ds: 9.3. I would have made the minimal edits needed to try to correct the clear issues.

If I took ChatGPT's result and added two or three of my own edits, I think it would be a 9.9 or 10.0.

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  • It's better of having a human do it and having a spellchecker or Grammarly instead. But thanks for putting in the effort in sharing your opinion
    – Rishon JR
    Jan 1 at 14:30
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    ChatGPT is bad for hallucinating false facts, but it's great at grammar.
    – endolith
    Jan 4 at 16:51
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    @endolith Agreed - It's odd sometimes the settings it just "makes up". Jan 4 at 19:23
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    Now I have tried chatgpt.. i regret downvoting this answer.
    – Rishon JR
    Jan 22 at 9:29

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