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TechTalk with Confidence Tawo: This Web App Can Improve Your Writing Skills

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Confidence Tawo“Were are you!” That was the comment my friend and I saw on Facebook that sparked a passionate conversation about how so many people face difficulty when writing English. The steep decline in written English skills, especially among young people, is appalling. I’ve noticed that many people hide their spelling woes under the pretext of addiction to short-form spelling. However, that is not the focus of this article, so I’d leave the topic of whether or not texting is harming our writing skills, for one of Atoke’s Monday Morning Banters .

That aside, let’s be honest, even the best of us occasionally make silly grammatical errors in corporate emails, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. Today, I’ll be introducing you to Grammarly, a brilliant web application I discovered and I’m currently using; because, unlike Beyonce, I’m not flawless, especially not with a language that’s not my native tongue. So, once in a while, Grammarly saves me some embarrassment with it’s amazing on-the-fly spelling and grammar checker.

How it Works
Grammarly, helps you write mistake-free in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and nearly anywhere else you write on the Internet.

To begin using the online service, all you need to do is add the Grammarly plugin to your web browser – preferably Google Chrome. If you are not already using Google Chrome, you will need to download and install the web browser first because Grammarly is not available for other browsers. My guess is, the development team is currently working on this, but cheer up; downloading and installing Google Chrome takes few minutes. Click here to install the plugin.

Free! Free!! Free!!!
Think about Grammarly as your virtual proofreader. The company claims the application can correct over 250 types of grammatical mistakes including subject-verb agreement, article use, misuse or missing punctuation marks and more.

The best part for me is that although there is a subscription fee for advanced features, certain essential features are FREE. ‘Free’ seems to be one of my favourite words in the dictionary recently, but can you blame me when $1 = N200? Everybody on team ‘OshoFree’, let me hear you say “yeah, yeah”.

Ben, Will You Buy Me Launch Tomorrow?
Oops! I meant to type ‘lunch’, but when I made the mistake of typing ‘launch’, Microsoft Word was not smart enough to pick up my contextual spelling error which Grammarly did easily. Now you understand where I am coming from, right? In a formal setting, this type of error will take your reputation from smart dude/babe to foolish coconut-head person, within seconds! Your boss will just read your email and think you are an olodo (fool). I know I sound like I’m exaggerating, but making this type of mistake at work will leave a wrong impression of you.

Although it’s common place to see people make these errors, you should try to escape the trap of homonyms, homophones, and homographs (e.g. where, wear, were and we’re) by using Grammarly.

Limitations
After all the great features I discussed and praised earlier, you would think Grammarly is a complete solution to your grammar trouble, but I am sorry to disappoint you. Grammarly is great, agreed, but it’s still a work in progress and does not completely replace the good old habit of proofreading what you write before posting or emailing someone.

It’s a shame but Grammarly currently doesn’t have an add-on for mobile devices, and the service only works when you are browsing the web on your computer with Google Chrome. For example, if you are replying to an email on your mobile phone or updating your Facebook status, Grammarly will not come to your rescue when you slip.

There is a school of thought that postulates that just like auto-correct, using Grammarly makes you over-reliant on technology to write correctly and will harm the user’s English competence in the long run. Do you agree? Will you install and use Grammarly? Have you used Grammarly or any similar software? Please share your reviews and thoughts in the comment section.

I am an unconventional ethical hacker and enterprise solutions architect, passionate about helping individuals and organizations securely leverage technology to solve business and everyday problems. Please follow me on Instagram (@sisinerd), where I share helpful Techtips when I’m less busy with my work at GidiNerd (www.gidinerd.com) GidiNerd is one of Nigeria’s leading hybrid marketing and technology company, offering cybersecurity, digital marketing, online reputation management, enterprise solutions, software implementation and augmented reality services.

42 Comments

  1. Sholz

    May 21, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Ha ose jare! With all the correct English i blow everyday, i cringe sometimes when i re-read my old mails. Biko, Grammarly to the rescue now!

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 11:33 am

      Same here o. You know all that rush to reply emails within 5 minutes of receipt? Omoh, nah there gbaguan dey full pass. Lollll

    • nwa nna

      May 21, 2015 at 11:48 am

      @Tawo, make you use that spell check nah 😛

  2. seyi

    May 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Am loving it!!

    • Grammarly

      May 21, 2015 at 11:11 am

      I am!!!!!!!

  3. Ewa

    May 21, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Thanks. Will go and check it out.

  4. ednutey

    May 21, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Please Confidence,you can like to cc Tonto Dikeh…I feel like shedding tears whenever I see her post(s).And yes! I’m almost very certain her written English isn’t good

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Ahhhhhhhh! My mother used to say, “he or she who has craw-craw will look for and find a cure”. Lol

  5. Faith

    May 21, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Beautiful article

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks my babe.

  6. oaks

    May 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Confidence,I know how proud your Dad has been of you,don’t stop shinning you are a star.well-done girl

  7. Bellemoizelle

    May 21, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Ednutey Nawa for you oo ,but Tonto Dike is a cool people!!

    La Vie Est Belle

    • Rt

      May 22, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      No Tonto Dike is a cool ‘nation’..lol

  8. Eniola

    May 21, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Good work….. Confidence keep the awareness going and we keep improving….

    Guys no more bombshell ……we need to preserve posterity…….

  9. ify

    May 21, 2015 at 11:39 am

    And that’s my girl! Keep it up. I’m a fan.?

  10. nwa nna

    May 21, 2015 at 11:47 am

    sms abbreviation has become the achilles heel of proper grammar in society allover & this is being reflected more than ever in our writing skills because it carries over when writing.

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      I totally agree with you. It’s really disturbing to see how that is affecting especially teenagers.

  11. chuqqy

    May 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

    Grammarly is awesome been using it since January, i have recommended it to family & friends and i must say its the bomb. great job taiwo.

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      Thanks @Chuqqy

  12. Deba

    May 21, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Nice 1 comfy…hmm Grammarly to d rescue lol

  13. thehermit

    May 21, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks a bunch! Finally! Something to help out with grammatical errors! At least gbagauns go reduce.

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 2:50 pm

      As innnn. Odiqua necessary!

  14. Jigsaw

    May 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    I absolutely love the Grammarly app….even shelled out a few bucks for the premium version for use with Microsoft Office. Speaking of poor grammar, I just saw “How are my” rather than “How am I” on an associate’s fb update….shit made my skin crawl

  15. @edDREAMZ

    May 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    .
    Babe niceone no doubt….
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      @edDreamz, thanks, no doubt….

  16. Tunji Ayilara

    May 21, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Ride on Confidence. We’re proud of you ?

  17. nammy

    May 21, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Am glad am not the only one that wrong grammar affects. i just saw- in this world ‘field” with troubles instead of ‘filled’ with troubles and my respect for that individual just dropped 1000 feet below sea level,. while i am not perfect, i try really hard to write correctly especially when i am posting it for public view, so grammarly is a yes yes for me!

    • Confidence Tawo

      May 21, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      You are certainly not alone oh….lol.

    • Truthteller

      May 21, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      ‘I am’…You haven’t installed grammarly yet!

    • nwanyi na aga aga

      May 21, 2015 at 4:33 pm

      Lol! The shade in this bella shaaa, na bella teach all of us..

  18. Imma

    May 21, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    great job!

  19. Yummy Mummy

    May 21, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Go Confy!!!! So proud of u

  20. Okeremi Mofoluke

    May 21, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    Great job Confidence 🙂

  21. ednutey

    May 21, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    @Bellemoizelle:she should be cool with good written english abeg….

  22. Limi

    May 21, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    This is an excellent write-up especially the use of illustrations….keep it up aunty….

  23. Vocalcords

    May 21, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    As much as I like the easy way out, I think proofreading cannot be over-emphasized. I can read an email ten times before sending it out. Hate for my rep to be trampled to the dust. Still checking out Grammarly sharperly’!

  24. word

    May 21, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks for this article. I have added the plugin to my browser and love it.

  25. Ushang

    May 21, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Perfectly written. Thumbs up!!!!

  26. juddymak

    May 22, 2015 at 5:16 am

    I will be sure to use this because most time all those short cuts i use for some words spill into business mails if i am not careful *i painstakingly checked spellings for this comment* hahahah

  27. Ben Asoro

    May 22, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Quite insightful! ! ( Cross check with grammarly if it’s not double ‘l’ 🙂

  28. Baba

    May 22, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Me and my friends…instead of…my friends and I…..hope it sorts this out too?!! Seems to be a scourge nowadays!

  29. Baby_hova

    August 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    On point ?

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