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Re: Is it possible to do grammar checking within emacs?


From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Is it possible to do grammar checking within emacs?
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 13:07:23 +0200

> From: xz <address@hidden>
> Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2007 23:20:30 -0000
> 
> On Oct 16, 10:52 am, xz <address@hidden> wrote:
> > Yes, I know it can check the spelling. But what about grammar?
> >
> > If this is possible through emacs, How well does it work, compared
> > with MS word, which is the only software I know that can do grammar
> > checking?
> 
> anybody gives an idea?

There just aren't good solutions to this problem.

This page:

   http://faculty.washington.edu/sandeep/check/

will explain why you shouldn't treat the MS Word grammar checker as a
standard of quality.  Try the demo files you find there, and you will
see how miserably Word fails to find even the most trivial mistakes of
English usage.

After searching the net and reading a few papers by specialists in
this area, my conclusion was that the state of the art of the current
technology is simply not good enough for solving this problem in a
satisfactory manner.  The best solutions nowadays rely on data bases
that hold patterns of known abuses of a language and search for those
patterns in the text.  So don't expect too much from the few solutions
I suggest below.

One program that is free software is `diction' (you can find it on GNU
ftp servers); there's diction.el that provides a rather simple Emacs
front end to it.

There's also style-checker
(http://www.cs.umd.edu/~nspring/software/style-check-readme.html),
which is written in Ruby; I'm not aware of any Emacs feature that uses
it, but it shouldn't be hard to write one, or maybe write an Elisp
style checker that just uses the data base which comes with this
package.

Yet another tool is grac (http://grac.sourceforge.net/).  Again, I
don't know about any Emacs interfaces to it.

HTH




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