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MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?
2

MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

(OP)
While working second-level support today, I was catching up on some old tickets that the users haven't responded to (we have to get an approval e-mail before we can proceed with a database fix). So I said:

Quote:

We have not heard from you regarding Case 01234567.
Please advise.

Grammar check in Outlook wanted to change advise to advice.

Isn't this wrong? Did the authors of the grammar checker in Office bother to look it up?

I suppose not. The deal is, I get emails from users at my company asking me to "please advice" on the status of something or other. Drives me up the cubicle wall.

 

-- Francis
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.
--Robert Frost

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

I think the basic problem is that "Please advise." isn't a sentence.

If you type "Please advise me of the status of your case." - a complete sentence - then MS does not make any suggestions that you change advise to anything else.

 

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

(OP)
According to http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advise,
you can use the verb intransitively:

intransitive verb
1: to give a recommendation about what should be done <advise on legal matters>
2: to talk with someone in order to decide what should be done : consult <advise with friends>

-- Francis
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.
--Robert Frost

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?



Change it to...

Please advise us.

to make a complete sentence and the 'error' goes away.

Skip,

glassesJust traded in my old subtlety...
for a NUANCE!tongue

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

(OP)
If I seem overly picky, it's because the MS Office grammar checker is, and it is causing people here to use "advice" as a verb, which it isn't.

I know the proper usage, and ignore MSOGC's rule; but too many people do not, and they are relying on the faulty advice of the software, which advises them to use "advice" instead of "advise".

My brain is full. Sorry.

-- Francis
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.
--Robert Frost

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

A tool is only as good as its operator.
as an example i recently saw a man using a chainsaw to make sculptures, clearly a fantastic tool in skilled hands.
I do not think I need to draw a picture of the results of a chainsaw in the wrong hands.
 

Computers are like Air conditioners:-
Both stop working when you open Windows

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

> I think the basic problem is that "Please advise." isn't a sentence.

I'm not sure I agree with that. What is it that makes it "not a sentence"? What rule does it break?

I'm with flapeyre... the grammar checker (Word 2003 in my case) is suggesting that "advise" be replaced with "advice", and the reason it gives is "commonly confused words"!!! Seems the grammar checker is the one confused.

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

If it were an issue with the sentence structure then typing "Please advice" would have the same issue. It does not.

Grammer Checker is flat out wrong. No question.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ...  There is no spoon.

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

>What is it that makes it "not a sentence"? What rule does it break?

It only has an implied subject (simple sentence is basically a single independant clause, and an independant clause contains a subject and a predicate). This is fooling the grammar checker. Changing it to

Please advise us

fixes the issue as far as the grammar checker is concerned.

>typing "Please advice" would have the same issue

No, it would not. That's much the same as typing 'Quite wombat' which the grammar checker will ignore. Mind you, simply put a full stop after that ("Quite wombat.") and then you will indeed find it complaining ...

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

Quote:

No, it would not. That's much the same as typing 'Quite wombat' which the grammar checker will ignore. Mind you, simply put a full stop after that ("Quite wombat.") and then you will indeed find it complaining ...

Then full stop after "Please advice." should complain if they are "much the same". It does not.

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ...  There is no spoon.

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

(OP)
Also, now that I'm home, I tried it on Word 2010. Same result.

-- Francis
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.
--Robert Frost

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

strongm:
Adding a subject is only needed as a workaround for the flaw in the grammar checker. But the sentence "Please advise." is grammatically correct as it is. It is an imperative sentence. It has an implied subject. No problem.

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

>Adding a subject is only needed as a workaround for the flaw in the grammar checker

Er, I know - that's what I was saying

>Then full stop after "Please advice." should complain if they are "much the same". It does not.

I said "much the same" rather than "exactly the same" for good reason. There are some other spelling/grammar rules that seem to take precedence with advise/advice because they are seen as common misspellings of each other. With the 'correct' grammar/spelling options selected it is quite possible to get into a loop where the grammar checker wants you to replace advise with advice, and consequently a contexual spelling error is flagged suggesting that advice is replaced with advise, and consequently ...
 

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

I don't understand the issue here:
  • advice is a noun that rhymes with nice.
  • advise is a verb that rhymes with eyes.
One cannot give advise, nor can one advice someone.

MS Word clearly has an incomplete/incorrect set of rules for the two words.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
"People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

The actual grammar rule that's being broken is the use of a transitive verb without an object.

==> But the sentence "Please advise." is grammatically correct as it is.
While this is a sentence (imperative sentence with implied subject), it is not grammatically correct because the transitive verb "to advise" does not have a direct object.  That's why "Please advise us" solves the problem.  'Us' is the direct object for the transitive verb.  There is nothing wrong with implied subjects, but you cannot have implied direct objects for transitive verbs.

flapeyre does say in his post of Nov 11 21:11 that the verb "to advise" may be used intransitively, which means that it doesn't require a direct object.  However, in this form in an imperative sentence, 'to advise' is transitive and therefore requires a direct object.

The grammar checker is 100% correct in identifying that a grammatical error exits.  What is doesn't know is whether the error is that the verb doesn't belong, or whether the verb is improperly used.  The grammar checker is responding with the more common error, which is the spelling difference between advice and advise.  In this case, however, the real error is the improper use of the transitive verb.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.  - Plato

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

(OP)
Yes, but what it's suggesting is way off base. "Please advice"?

That is grammatically incorrect.

-- Francis
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.
--Robert Frost

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

==> Yes, but what it's suggesting is way off base.
What the grammar checker knows is that the grammatical structure of what is written in wrong.  It does not know what the real mistake is.  The grammar checker doesn't have the advantage that we humans have in understanding the semantic context.  It's not pre-checking anything because to do so would require making even more assumptions of what is correct.  It knows that using advice instead of advise (or vice versa) is very common and so that's it's first suggestion.

As strongm addresses in his post of 16 Nov 11 20:42, choosing the suggestion doesn't mean you'll eliminate the error.  In this case, it may not even change the error.  The real value of the grammar checker is to bring this situation to your attention.
 

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.  - Plato

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

(OP)

Quote (CC):

As strongm addresses in his post of 16 Nov 11 20:42, choosing the suggestion doesn't mean you'll eliminate the error.  In this case, it may not even change the error.  The real value of the grammar checker is to bring this situation to your attention.
At the expense (in this case) of giving people, especially those whose primary language is not English, the impression that "Please advice" is correct. It isn't, unless we twist things so far out of kilter to suggest that "please" can be used as an adjective, or "advice" can be used as a verb.

That kind of attention we can do without.

-- Francis
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.
--Robert Frost

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

==> It isn't, unless we twist things so far out of kilter to suggest that "please" can be used as an adjective, or "advice" can be used as a verb.
There is another option that the checker may be taking and that is to assume that "please" is the correct verb so what must follow it should be a noun and not a verb.  Since the verb that follows (advise) is a common misspelling of a noun (advice), the checker is offer the common spelling of the noun to be the object of the verb "to please".  The grammar for that is
<verb> <noun object>, and the phrase "please advice" can be parsed from that grammar rule.  That being said, we all recognize that it's wrong; that it doesn't make sense.  It is a semantic error.

I agree that it's silly for MS to suggest an alternative that itself is grammatically incorrect or to suggest something that turns out to be a semantic error.  I will also say that semantic errors are far more difficult to detect programmatically than grammatical errors.  For grammar, you need parts of speech and grammar rules, but for semantics, you need not only parts of speech and grammar rules, but also word definitions and usage conventions.

I do agree however, that it in this case, it would be better for MS to simply inform you that what you've written is grammatically incorrect, but not try to offer a suggestion since there really is no reasonable suggestion without assuming a semantic intent.

--------------
Good Luck
To get the most from your Tek-Tips experience, please read
FAQ181-2886: How can I maximize my chances of getting an answer?
Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something.  - Plato

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

[quote- Cajuncenturion]I do agree however, that it in this case, it would be better for MS to simply inform you that what you've written is grammatically incorrect, but not try to offer a suggestion since there really is no reasonable suggestion without assuming a semantic intent.[/quote]

Best comment so far.  

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ...  There is no spoon.

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

CC - Thanks for the explanation... was hoping you would chime in soon smile

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

(OP)
CC- thanks.  

-- Francis
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get to the office.
--Robert Frost

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

soapbox

Eeeeeee... Nouns as Verbs = "Lets LEVERAGE project B's knowledge.."

<shudder>

 

Chris

Someday I'll know what I'm donig...damn!

 

RE: MS Office Grammar Checker Wrong?

As a colleague says "There is no noun which cannot be verbed."

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

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