Introducing Proactive Grammar

“A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.” ― Albert Einstein

When typing in your nonnative language grammar is widely perceived as a nemesis, especially when the content created can be defined as professional, academic, business-oriented etc. (as opposed to ‘casual-conversational’ content where grammar errors are somewhat more ‘acceptable’). Some say grammar mistakes are “…literary form of bad manners and exposes the writer as someone who isn’t serious about the craft”.

There are quite a few grammar correction app tools currently available in the marketplace, and most of them do a good job articulating your already-created content (post typing). This is indeed very helpful in terms of being able to deliver your thoughts and messages in confidence.

A few questions come to mind:

Einstein once said a wise person avoids problems. In that case, wouldn’t it be wiser to avoid these grammatical errors in the first place? But how do you prevent grammatical errors if you're not even aware you're making them in real time?

Can technology assist and prevent these errors before they’re actually made? And assuming it can, is it possible to do that without diminishing the user’s creativity by offering them ready-made complete phrases?

Well, the answers to these questions are broad and complicated and would result in turning this into a very techy and theoretical post.

Therefore, for the purpose of this discussion I would like to roughly differentiate between two main categories of grammar errors: those that can be identified in real-time (before or during typing), and those that cannot (i.e. errors that can only be identified as such at a later stage or once the phrase is completed).

Nowadays, the ‘grammar correction’ technological scene is quite crowded with several impressive technological solutions demonstrating powerful analytical approaches. However, one of the few features commonly shared by all of them is being ‘post-text’ oriented; regardless the UI, they all offer their suggested corrections only after the user had completed typing their text.

At Lightkey we developed our technology with a vision to help users type at the speed of their minds. We strive to fulfill this vision by enabling intelligent typing experience that seamlessly blends in any content creation process, enhances productivity and does not impose itself. This approach is profoundly different than any other assistive technology that looks at your already created content and offers its thoughtful advice.

Therefore, we asked ourselves can we even include grammar capabilities in Lightkey given our mission statement and its implementation? Well, it depends on the type of grammatical error. Based on my rather rough differentiation between the two types of grammatical errors here-above and due to the nature of Lightkey’s approach, it can only address ‘real-time’ grammar; i.e. grammar errors that can be either prevented or identified and flagged before typing your next word.

This post is being drafted using our latest edition - Lightkey 11 - which for the first time includes a powerful feature that essentially helps users avoid common grammar errors proactively, before and/ or while they type, resulting in an even more productive experience. In other words, Lightkey 11 will offer more relevant and precise predictions and spelling corrections based on a deeper grammar-oriented understanding of your content.

*Proactive grammar is currently available only in English.

Here are a few examples:

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