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Microsoft Grammar and Style Checker (‘Consider Revising’): Another in a series of invitations to contribute to questions studied by the ‘Bridging the Unbridgeable Project’ at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics


I had never given much consideration to the influence of the Microsoft Word grammar and style checker on the average Microsoft Word user. Perhaps that is because I never felt quite bothered by it; as someone who has studied English for almost twenty years now, I always felt I could make my own decisions when it comes to grammar and style matters in English. This feeling, however, changed recently when, in a matter of days, the Microsoft Word grammar and style checker on my recently purchased laptop started disliking all my passive constructions, and suggested that I should replace them with active clauses. I was not impressed. (And even as I am writing this, a lot of the passive constructions in this text are underlined as ‘errors’.)

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G. K. Pullum 2014. ‘Fear and Loathing of the English Passive’. Language & Communication 37, 6074.

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English Today
  • ISSN: 0266-0784
  • EISSN: 1474-0567
  • URL: /core/journals/english-today
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