When my family arrived in the United States as Polish immigrants back in 1994, none of us spoke English. My dad knew a little, but when my parents somehow signed me up for middle school on Monday morning, having arrived in L.A. the day before, I had no idea how to even ask to go the bathroom.
It was all about ESL (English as Second Language) classes from then on out. I don’t quite remember my ESL teachers name, I do remember that she was a German lady with thick eye glasses and a last name that began with a K, but a quick Google search didn’t bring anything up just now (Richard E. Byrd Middle School Sun Valley 1994 ESL class). Anyway, Ms. K is the reason I speak English good now! haha, I know, that was intended.
As a twelve-year old, I didn’t care much to actually know the reason why something should be one way or another, but cared more to just speak, ask, write, and communicate. A lot of times today I don’t know why one sentence in English is right, and another is wrong. To me, they just sound right or wrong.
At work, I get asked quite often how I would write something out, and I tell them one way or another. But I can’t explain why. It just sounds right. The reason I’m writing this is Grammarly, a cool little app that helps me along with writing these days, but more importantly, understanding my grammar. Until Grammarly plug-in, I didn’t know I made that many basic grammar mistakes, and what they’re actually called. Now I pay a little more attention to my writing and research the things that get marked as wrong in real time as I write them.
My number one offense? Using unnecessary ellipsis. I don’t know…, I kinda like them 😉 But when you click on the Learn More link you get a cool explanation of what it is you should be avoiding.
If you’re looking to improve your grammar, or at the very least get a cool new spell check to hover over your key strokes, give Grammarly a try. I’m still using the free version that catches the basic stuff, but I’m tempted to upgrade and find out what critical and advanced issues Grammarly found in my writing. It’s fun nevertheless to get a second opinion on my writing as I type along.
Every now and then I get a Grammarly report card noting some stats. I have no reference point as to other Grammarly users, but being more productive then 97% of them sounds pretty impressive. Unless there’s only like ten other dudes using the app, of course.
Link to Grammarly.com