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tony lavely

Concerning the desktop version of ProWriting Aid (ver 2.0.55) running on a MacBook Pro with macOS Mojave (10.14.6)

Two stars b/c it found one misspelling among the hundreds of false positives.

Someone there needs to learn how to recognize a speech tag. In "He groaned. 'What do we do now?'" He groaned is Not a speech tag. One example among again hundreds in error (IMHO).

How do you manage to open a file, modify it and close it without macOS recording either one of them?

Flagging "sha" as a spelling error when the input is "shan't" is just wrong. A terminal "n't" does not always mean "not" and even if it does - the instant case - the word left over after truncation isn't the correct meaning. In the case of dialect - again, for me - I use for example, "see't" to mean "see it", where the 't stands for it. In a more problematic example, "explain it" becomes "explain't", which again triggers a spelling error flag, but I don't really want to include "explai" in the spelling dictionary, because my typing isn't good enough to be sure I won't erroneously type the partial word.

More with apostrophes: it appears that leading apostrophes are stripped and assumed to be open single quote marks. Let me introduce 'tween: contraction, between. Not the same as tween, noun, short for preteen or young teenager. That's just in English. In my story, I use the leading apostrophe as another character: eg. 'dar. I can't add 'dar to the dictionary because the apostrophe is stripped, so I have no way to find where I might have missed the apostrophe (reference my lousy typing, above).

These and a raft of similar reported errors make PWA very difficult to use effectively. I must open each one of the tagged errors and click ignore for 99.9% of them. Wasted time.

Speaking of that, why do you allow us to click "ignore" when all you do is ignore it? What's it there for, besides fake feedback?


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Amy Cohen

Hi there,
Thank you for taking the time to write in. Unfortunately, there are limitations to any device that relies on NLP and apostrophes tend to present a hard situation to code for outside of super-normal grammatical rules. I'm so sorry that I don't have a more satisfactory answer! We are continuing to improve our software (literally 24/7! we have workers around the globe) but the matter of apostrophes, quotation marks and dialogue in general seem to constantly present issues similar to those you've expressed above.
There is a chance that using our style guide would help you create a set of rules for contractions that you use very often, but I don't think it will address or be able to anticipate unusual contractions that indicate dialect or accent (such as explain't). Here is an article about how to use the style guide, just in case you do find it useful: prowritingaid.com/art/1083/how-to-use-the-prowritingaid-style-guide.aspx
With regards to your last query, you may want to try selecting "disable" for a more permanent solution for bypassing a rule. If you find that you've disabled a rule that you'd like re-enabled, you can email us at hello@prowritingaid.com and we can re-enabled all of your rules.
Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have further questions! We are happy to help you get the most out of ProWritingAid.
All the best,