You're sending the wrong message and masquerading as a language expert, when really you're just codifying meaningless, pedantic complaints about how other speaker groups utilize a roughly identical system using shared constructions. Those attitudes lead to unnecessary prejudice against others at best and bigotry at worst.
You want to know the best way to determine whether or not a construction is grammatical? Whether someone said it, and another person understood it. Because well-formedness is ultimately determined on a gradient scale, and not a categorical one with a series of by-laws like some kind of rulebook for a secret club.
Anyway, I'm primarily interested in hacking, not in seeing some angry nerd on the Internet make excuses to take down someone else's technically challenging work.
> well-formedness is ultimately determined on a gradient
Once you've accumulated sufficient experience, you'll know when to ignore a rule.
A tool based on rules that bear some closer resemblance to actual English grammar would be interesting to me. Maybe something that checked against the recommendations in a recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. The technical aspects of this tool don't seem hugely tied to the specific constructs it currently flags, so perhaps that could be done (though the source is not available, so perhaps not).
I think you're overreacting.
The problem for me is that when I write something I may not know that what someone understood is really what I intended. No matter what I write there's no magic way to make every reader understand exactly what I meant, but if I adhere to some rules of grammar that I expect are reasonably comprehended than I have a better chance.
So, for example, if I write, "The result was less bugs", some people may take that to mean the total number of bugs went down (i.e, "fewer bugs") while others may think that the number of bugs stayed the same but that the bugs were not as serious ("lesser bugs").
Pedantry can be helpful here.
(That said, I can't imagine actually using this except for the humor value of seeing suggestions like replacing "half" in "half a year" with "one-half" or "moiety".)
Ah. No. This is clearly in Full-On Prescriptivist Peeving Mode, which means The Author Is WRONG!!!! (Yes, all of those exclamation points are required.) It's fundamentally more important to hew to the dictates of someone who thinks English must needs be used according to the rules of Latin than it is to express yourself in a clear and concise fashion. Anyone who disagrees would likely use the non-words 'Electrocution' or 'Television'.
This would lower the barrier to using the tool, and reduce the amount of text and exposition new users have to slog through.
"Nitpicker was written by Niels Lohmann during the final stages of this thesis." > ... his thesis
"At that time, every second page looked like the one on the left when it came back from his supervisor. " > ... on the right.
"Make sure you the negation of 'can' applies to the activity rather than to the ability to carry out the activity."
It'd reuslt in the kline heard 'round the world.
But early days and can only get better. But hey if you chuck shakespere at any modern day spelling check it will barf more than what I have put the english language thru, so it's no easy challenge.
If anything there are more exception in the english language to the rules than there are rules and there be a lot of rules.
Of course, I am not going to use it for anything confidential, but knowing how much privacy I can expect would be nice.
As Orwell said: "If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them." I like nitpicking, I love being corrected. But maybe this would be even better as a list instead of an online application.
On the serious side - should be useful, I'd certainly like to have a local offline version to add it right after aspell in my editing pipeline. Just to see if I agree with the results.
> Nitpicker is a language style checker which compares your text with a large database of style warnings, common errors, or warnings indicating that you may have once more used the wrong word or preposition. Nitpicker’s goal is to implement the old proverb “shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice”: the moment your supervisor, colleague, reviewer, or local native-speaker finds a mistake in your text, any repetition is just embarrassing.
> Nitpicker is a language style checker which compares your text with a large database...
I'd probably write "that" instead of "which" - it's easier to say - and maybe "writing" instead of "text"? Not sure if "compares" is the ideal word either, but these are just nitpicks. Rather than tweak these I'd probably rewrite the whole thing.
> ...of style warnings, common errors, or warnings indicating...
Major bug: "or"? Does it check for one of these problems or another, but not necessarily all of them? It should be "and".
Repeating "warnings" twice is confusing too. This second group of warnings: are these style warnings too, or not?
> ...that you may have once more used the wrong word or preposition.
I've read this at least a dozen times now and my brain still slows way down around the "may have once more used" part. I have a few guesses about what it means, but I'm not sure which if any are right.
Also, "word or preposition" doesn't make any sense. A preposition is a word. It's like saying "a parrot or a bird".
> Nitpicker’s goal is to implement the old proverb “shame on you if you fool me once, shame on me if you fool me twice”
Ugh. Way to mangle a beautiful and poetic saying. This version has no power: it's like the nursery rhyme translation, and it's confusing too.
Here's how it really goes:
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
Now that is writing.
But what does fooling people and and who should be ashamed have to do with a style checker anyway? And how would Nitpicker "implement" the proverb? Make people feel ashamed when someone has fooled them twice?
> the moment your supervisor, colleague, reviewer, or local native-speaker finds a mistake in your text, any repetition is just embarrassing.
Is it embarrassing to you or to them? And are we saying that the first mistake is not embarrassing, only when you repeat it?
I'm trying to connect this with the proverb, which is all about who should be ashamed, not when the shame happens. It is all very confusing.
Enough nitpicking. How would I write it? Maybe something like:
> Nitpicker helps you find and fix common mistakes in your writing. It checks for thousands of style errors and questionable wording and offers suggestions to improve them. Let Nitpicker find your mistakes before your friends and colleagues do!
These things are always mired with troubled.
These things are always mired with trouble.
These things are always mired with troubles.