Hi Alex, about a year ago I guess Grammarly started sending just about everyone on my FB friends list unsolicited tips on writing. We worked out they had stolen our FB addresses from a writing site we all contributed to. The first two tips they sent me were rubbish (I remember because I wrote a sarcastic blog about it), the first was that the word “however” should only be used at the beginning of a sentence. Well there’s no reason it shouldn’t go at the beginning of the sentence, there are, however, other equally valid placements. The second was on the elipsis … Grammarly seem to think the only legitimate use of this in any context id with square brackets to show that […] some words have been removed. I would say that the elipsis should be avoided in business documents except for the above case but in creative writing it is very useful for indicating an unfinished statement, or for indicating a long pause. I’ve used it to punctuate a passage where the narrative voice is overhearing a phone conversation but can only hear half of it. Example:
“Yeah I went to the address, there was no — one around … how would I know where they were … of course not, the place did not even look occupied.”
Other people had received equally incomplete advice on colons, semi colons, avoiding long sentences, never using colloquialisms, that one should never use the passive voice and exclamation marks should never be used, ever!
It reminded me of one of the old Microsoft Word grammar checkers. And though Microsoft have always denied it,there really was one that recommended replacing Dick Van Dyke with penis van lesbian. I saw it in the 1980s, might have been in a beta test version but it was changed pretty quickly. Grammarly is certainly not the right thing for creative or journalistic writing.
I’m just building my presence here, I will stop by again.