Tools like autocorrect and Grammarly can be incredibly helpful in spotting typos and incorrect sentence structure, but they aren't always right. When autocorrect makes a correction based on flimsy artificial intelligence - like adding a comma where you don't need one - it can change your entire message and tone of voice.
Let's discuss how to avoid autocorrect backfires!
Make sure your proofreading tool is set to the spelling your audience uses (for example, UK vs US English). This is the first step to stopping unwanted corrections.
But, we've all had autocorrect change our words when we know we spelt them right the first time. Have you ever hastily sent a text before realising a certain word was changed to 'duck'?
Although these autocorrect mistakes can be funny, it's important to go back and proofread everything ourselves before publishing it. If the piece of writing is meant to sound professional, 'funny' typos could be very embarrassing.
There have been far too many times Word has suggested I put a semicolon in the middle of a sentence where it really isn't needed. How many times have you let autocorrect dictate your use of commas?
You have to read your work aloud and decide yourself where punctuation should be placed. This comes down to tone of voice - if you want your writing to be snappy, avoid excess commas. If you want it to be flowy and descriptive, don't be afraid of some exciting punctuation.
Phrases and sentence structure
Writing tools are generally set to help you sound professional and keep your writing concise. But, this doesn't work in all situations! If you're writing a casual blog post or a short story, you don't want your writing to sound like an academic essay.
Tools like Grammarly will pick up on your use of passive voice and clunky sentences, but they aren't always a bad thing. Make sure you stick to your own tone of voice by consulting your style guide.
For more help with writing, see my Digital Writing Style Guide, personalised to your business.