What is GRAMMAR CHECKER? What does GRAMMAR CHECKER mean? GRAMMAR CHECKER meaning - GRAMMAR CHECKER definition - GRAMMAR CHECKER explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
A grammar checker, in computing terms, is a program, or part of a program, that attempts to verify written text for grammatical correctness. Grammar checkers are most often implemented as a feature of a larger program, such as a word processor, but are also available as a stand-alone application that can be activated from within programs that work with editable text.
The implementation of a grammar checker makes use of natural language processing.
The earliest writing style programs checked for wordy, trite, clichéd, or misused phrases in a text. This process was based on simple pattern matching. The heart of the program was a list of many hundreds or thousands of phrases that are considered poor writing by many experts. The list of questionable phrases included alternative wording for each phrase. The checking program would simply break text into sentences, check for any matches in the phrase dictionary, flag suspect phrases and show an alternative. These programs could also perform some mechanical checks. For example, they would typically flag doubled words, doubled punctuation, some capitalization errors, and other simple mechanical mistakes.
True grammar checking is more complex. While a computer programming language has a very specific syntax and grammar, this is not so for natural languages. One can write a somewhat complete formal grammar for a natural language, but there are usually so many exceptions in real usage that a formal grammar is of minimal help in writing a grammar checker. One of the most important parts of a natural language grammar checker is a dictionary of all the words in the language, along with the part of speech of each word. The fact that natural words can take many different parts of speech greatly increases the complexity of any grammar checker. A grammar checker will find each sentence in a text, look up each word in the dictionary, and then attempt to parse the sentence into a form that matches a grammar. Using various rules, the program can then detect various errors, such as agreement in tense, number, word order, and so on. It is also possible to detect some stylistic problems with the text. For example, some popular style guides such as The Elements of Style deprecate excessive use of the passive voice. Grammar checkers may attempt to identify passive sentences and suggest an active-voice alternative.
The software elements required for grammar checking are closely related to some of the development issues that need to be addressed for voice recognition software. In voice recognition, parsing can be used to help predict which word is most likely intended, based on part of speech and position in the sentence. In grammar checking, the parsing is used to detect words that fail to follow accepted grammar usage.
Recently, research has focused on developing algorithms which can recognize grammar errors based on the context of the surrounding words. Context-based grammar checkers appear in Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Office 2007, Google Wave, Ghotit Dyslexia Software, Grammarly, SpellCheckPlus.com, Nounplus.net, GrammarCheck.net, PaperRater, Ginger Software, VirtualWritingTutor.com, and WhiteSmoke.
Grammar checkers are considered as a type of foreign language writing aid which non-native speakers can use to proofread their writings as such programs endeavor to identify syntactical errors. However, as with other computerized writing aids such as spell checkers, popular grammar checkers are often criticized when they fail to spot errors and incorrectly flag correct text as erroneous. The linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum has argued that they are generally so inaccurate as to do more harm than good: "for the most part, accepting the advice of a computer grammar checker on your prose will make it much worse, sometimes hilariously incoherent."