Grammarly, Google Drive, and What it Means for All Writers

As both a writer and a student, I have always loved writing apps and extensions. When I took French in high school, I was obsessed with BonPatron, an online grammar and spelling checker specifically for French. It was a godsend for me, in a difficult foreign language class, to be able to tell whether my homework short answers and “journal assignments” were up to par. It did almost everything — from catching careless spelling mistakes to fixing verb tenses and ensuring that the writing maintained the right masculine/feminine verb conjugations.

While English certainly wasn’t a foreign language to me, I, like many of my peers, didn’t have a good grasp of grammar. We never truly had a grammar unit in school, and so I looked for an English version of BonPatron and I stumbled across Grammarly.

I excitedly added it as a Chrome extension and then my heart fell when I opened up a Google Doc to type an essay or an article or whatever and nothing happened. I knew for a fact that there was no way everything I had written was actually grammatically correct. A simple Google search then confirmed the nightmare: Grammarly is not available for Google Drive/Docs.

I was deeply saddened. While I still could use it in Wordpress, when I posted articles for my high school’s online newsmagazine, it wasn’t the same. I did all of my writing in Google Docs. My Google Drive is my favorite thing, and it’s very apparent by just looking at it: the pastel-colored folders, the variety of content in them, and the like. The fact that I couldn’t use Grammarly on perhaps my favorite website in the entire world made it, in many ways, obsolete.

For years, my Grammarly extension sat on my Chrome tab, doing nothing. Google Docs caught my spelling errors, but let me carelessly type “had wrote” instead of “had written” with no repercussions.

And then, years later, within my first month at college, amidst essay and article deadlines, I noticed these red lines under my words. I hovered over them hesitantly, and lo and behold, Grammarly was back and better than before. It gently guided me in the right way, slowly teaching me grammar but also allowing me to ignore their suggestions if something was dialogue or designed for a stylistic purpose.

Credit: Grammarly

It is, as of now, still in beta, but I love it just as much as ever. The world of online journalism celebrated, as The Register, Engadget, and TechCrunch gushed over the good news for all English writers who relied on Google’s services, lauding it as making things “all Reich!” for Grammar Nazis, and saving everyone from embarrassing mistakes.

Not only did I take this as a sign to keep writing with as much spirit and enthusiasm as always, whether it’s essays for my two EN classes, articles for Her Campus, or even just flyers for CAS Student Government, but all writers (and students) should rejoice and accept it as that sign too.

 

The original Grammarly had the power to change lifestyles, but the new and improved one, running a beta version in Google Docs, is actually doing just that.

 

Want to keep up with HCBU? Make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, check out our Pinterest board, and read our latest Tweets!