METM21 Online presentation 

Chopping: in search of better texts – wrestling with Hemingway and Grammarly to improve style

Allison Wright, São Brás de Alportel, Portugal

Content writing, copyediting and most types of revision demand a clear writing style. This presentation will discuss the use of Grammarly Premium and Hemingway App in tandem as a means to improve how you write. The introduction will mention the objectives of each and the metrics they use. It will also touch on how to deal with our ambivalence about a machine correcting our grammar and how we express ourselves. The talk will give examples to highlight the features of each tool that have proven useful in producing clearer prose. My observations are the result of a private course of action over about two years. Making things a joy to read often involves merciless chopping, but wielding an editorial hatchet does not have to compromise your style; it can improve it. Judicious chopping – and guidance from Grammarly and Hemingway – results in a more readable, more scannable text. This is what readers want, and we owe it to ourselves to give it to them.

Ahead of the session and as a reading aid, attendees can download a handout. It will include one example of collaborative chopping of a technical translation, some general examples from various sources that the presentation will refer to and display on screen, and short texts for attendees to engage in chopping exercises of their own in breakout groups. We’ll spend the last part of the presentation discussing the results.

This 90-minute interactive session aims to offer a variation on the theme of dealing with convoluted sentences. Writers and editors in search of better texts might find this perspective on honing their craft of interest.

About the presenter

Allison Wright is a translator and editor who produces deftly crafted texts worthy of public scrutiny.