Editor-In-A-Box

So I’ve been reviewing a couple of writing tools at work. Being a writer by trade I can, occasionally, put a comma in a wrong place or misspell a word.

It’s a pithy pissing match, sure, but the writing feels cleaner, in my opinion, than the actual quote provided.

Usually, I’m pretty close to spot on, certainly enough that I’ve had to correct grammar checkers. Though I do welcome their insight for my serial commas which, I, drop, like, William, Shatner, fighting, Kahn.

Having said that, I put together essentially an editor-in-a-box, combining three writing tools for my review. However, one of them nearly didn’t make it.

First up was Hemingway Editor (https://hemingwayapp.com/). I’d discovered this to be particularly beneficial for its word count and reading level assessments. I’m not entirely in agreement with some of the rules that it uses, but it’s not a bad tool overall.

Grammarly (https://grammarly.com/) is another one, and pretty much speaks for itself. It will usually catch me out on comma spam, but doesn’t always seem to work well with my voice, or tone. Still, not a bad product.

The last one for my editor-in-a-box is WordRake (http://wordrake.com/), this one is surprisingly handy. I normally have fairly tight writing as-is, WordRake took it down another notch. Turns out one of my worst ticks is using “will need to” where “must” will suffice.

On the last day of my trial, I received a marketing email. A little presumptuous, but in this case almost welcome. Since I actually do like the product and think it does its job admirably. One thing in the email nearly turned me off of the product though.

The very last quote in the email was from (apparently) a journalist with Law Technology News. Actually looking at the email now, all of the selected quotes are from legal firms. (Clearly, the universe is telling me something..)

What set me off was the use of a word that I have a pet peeve with. This is entirely childish, I’ll admit to that, but in a professional (or semi-professional) document the word “got” bothers me.

“Until WordRake, there was no program on my computer where I got a return on my investment the same day I used it.” [Name withheld]

You can scour my blog, I’ve already counted, I use “got” in eight of my blog posts. I know, I’m being a hypocrite. Until you realize that I’m using a different voice from my professional writing for those (this being a “semi-professional” blog, in which I also swear quite often as counter-point).

Got, to me, doesn’t carry a professional quality to it. In the sentence in question, considering the context in which the writing was being placed, I’d have used something more along the lines of:

“Until WordRake, no program on my computer has provided me a return on my investment the same day I used it.” [Name withheld]

It’s a pithy pissing match, sure, but the writing feels cleaner, in my opinion, than the actual quote provided.

Alas, such is the want of artists and writers, to be the most cynical, bitter critics of each others’ works. Somewhere, maybe, there’s some writer looking at my scribblings and thinking Yeah, but…

[Edit: Added in my revision of the quote, which was somehow lost during editing. -Error_418_]

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