The bastard child of the spellchecker
, the grammar
-checker was an attempt by linguistic software companies to add a new tool to modern word processing
The ideal grammar-checker alerts the user to their use of poor or incorrect syntax in the appropriate language, calling attention to anything from sentence fragments to dangling participles to pronouns without antecedents and so forth.
In practice however, the grammar-checker's ability is limited to bad guesses on use of passive voice, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences (usually by an arbitrary measurement). Although grammar-checkers in later versions have tried to minimize errant alerts by changing their sensitivity according to the type of document being written, most users still usually either turn off or ignore the warnings, since they are usually either wrong or unimportant.