Since the turn of the year I’ve noticed the increasing presence of a company called Grammarly in my social media feeds, from friends thumbs-upping the service on FB to retweets of its stock language memes on Twitter.
For anyone unaware of it, Grammarly’s basically a grammar-checking app which, while appearing to be just a fancier version of Microsoft Word’s built-in document reviewer, actually bills itself “the world’s most accurate grammar checker”, helping “more than 3 million writers...perfect their written English” (monthly fee $29.95).
That’s an impressive claim. It may well be the world's best grammar checker, but that's not necessarily saying much because it turns out the platform isn't that accurate – reviews have shown that Grammarly regularly misses clear mistakes in checked documents, while flagging errors that don't exist.
That was never going to bother me as I'd never use it anyway, and wasn't going to pay to give it a go out of curiosity, so I was happy to see it recently publicise an infographic of its application of grammatical rules, entitled ‘Fifty Shades of Grammar’ to tie in with the release of the eponymous movie.