MS Word – who is the leader of the pride? :)

What do you think about built-in MS Word’s English (both grammar rules and vocabulary)?

Sometimes it gives really strange recommendations, doesn’t it?


I would say it’s rather stuffy like a school teacher stuck in the 1950s and I knew plenty of them!


Hi Alan,

I think, this is the case when a software program has a much, much greater impact on people, all over the world, than all stuffy teachers, you mean, in an accord. :slight_smile:

As sometimes recommendations, Word gives, annoy even me, with my Intermediate level (and I cancel Word’s checking at all, for a while :))…
so… I can suppose how annoying they could be for modern English writers :slight_smile:

On the other hand, most MS Word users on the earth (as I suppose) have English skills below than those that would require to have an exclusive and up-to-date ‘English helper’ and perhaps never will get higher the mark.
So - the software machine with ‘ossified’ English would be a suitable ‘mentor’… just enough…

Even though it’s not a teacher, it will never teach you (us) ‘good English’ and, moreover, makes you (us) addicted to having an automatic checker (that allows you (us) to be normally negligent in writing).


Hi Tamara,

I hate the idea of a checker snooping at what I’ve written. I am one of those people who can’t bear having my newspaper read by someone else when I’m reading it.


Hi Tamara! Hi Alan!

What I wonder is whether the grammar editor in your MS Word appears automatically? Of course, when I?m writing a letter with that tool (MS Word) there appear some red underlines quite often, especially concerning names and some grammar rules which had been changed in the German language. But to be honest, I don?t consider them as the German language had been reformed that much and removed from the reforms and you are at least allowed to neglect the changings, so that I?m confused what?s correct in fact and decided to use that grammar I?ve been taught.

Interesting I find much more that the editor is capable of differing several languages. If I start writing a letter, for instance in German language, and add some English words MS Word recognizes the English words as mstakes. But If I start writing a letter in English after a few words MS Word accept the English and try to correct words that I add in German language.

Could you experience something similar?


I spend time in my classes proving to students that MS Word cannnot really check grammar. In linguistics classes I used to tell the students as an assignment to create ungrammatical sentences that MS Word will accept, or grammatical sentences that it will reject. It’s rather easy to do this.

I think checking and amending grammar mistakes is too complex a task for a software program. As many of our forum discussions show, there are plenty of controversial grammar points. How will a software program deal with those?

PS: Jamie, congratulations on reaching the 1000 post mark![YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEFL listening lectures: What does the professor say about utopian socialists?[YSaerTTEW443543]


Michael, it depends on current ‘spelling and grammar check’ options you set, and on the language, you currently use.
As I suppose, you use MS Word with its default settings.

You can ‘customise’ checking and set your own rules :), it’s easy. … htm#custom … ammarc.htm

You can also teach MS Word new words :slight_smile: expanding it’s vocabulary - for example, to add your own surname (and hundred of others) to the user vocabulary and enjoy it. :slight_smile:

…To my opinion, both Jamie and Torsten are right :slight_smile:
No robots could be perfect and flawless when we deal with ‘ill-structured’ (ill-formalized) knowledge domains, such as alive language or, for example, world economics.

Anyone who deals with the development and/or testing/validating so-called knowledge-based systems (or expert systems) knows their limits.

Certainly, when MS Word points out my typos, I’m grateful to it.

But the questions are:
What is better - to use or not to use such kind of automatic systems when you’re an English learner? What advantages, what disadvantages?
Would you recommend using MS Word to your students or children? As ‘better than nothing’-tool…

Hi Tamara!

Now, when I can add some corrections to the editor I always must be sure that I give the right corrections and when I?m able a correction of the editor why should I do that as I?m capable the correct grammar?

If I teach my editor the wrong way it always corrects me the wrong way back and I think that doesn?t make sense.

Is that too easily thought?

By the way I don?t use it at all.


No, Michael, you can’t actually change built-in grammar rules.
You can just select or omit applying of some. Also you can select a group of rules that will be applied to your writing – by choosing the style of writing (formal, standard,…) for which checking will be made.



I see :wink:


I’ve never seen Word’s grammar checker. :shock: I guess my software must be quite antiquated. :lol: (Or else I never installed the function…) I only seem to have the spell checker — and that’s problematic enough.

My spell check function seems to randomly switch between languages within a single text. And, of course, if I misspell something as a homophone (there instead of their, for example), that sort of error isn’t caught at all.

Having seen what various translation progams produce, I’m extremely leery of any computer’s ability to produce good grammar. My PC repairman always tells me this: “Computers are unbelievably stupid.” :lol:


However, if you use Auto-Correct, you don’t have the chance. Some of my students had what to me were hilarious problems in the class computer lab, because Word was changing their names to other words. It kept changing one covered-up Lebanese Muslim girl’s name into a completely Jewish name. It changed another one’s first name into an American Indian name, and her last name into the word “naked”. This was a perpetual problem, because the computers in the network were centrally programmed to restore their original settings evey 24 hours.

A few versions ago, Word used to bawl you out for using words that feminists don’t like. For example, if you wrote, “He visited the Cathedral of Notre Dame,” Word would jump in, highlight Dame, and berate you: “Sexist expression. Avoid using, except as a term for British aristocracy.” This made Word a laughing stock, so they changed the feature into one you can turn on if you know about it, but that is not a default.