Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Empson, R. (2013, Feb. 25). Ginger Software Brings Its Proofreading Keyboard To Android To Let You Fix Typos & Grammar In Any App. TechCrunch. Accessed 2-13.

There are several interesting things about Ginger. First, I am a guy who likes to test out different kinds of sentences on every free proofreader, just to see which ones will catch certain forms, and Ginger will let me go on indefinitely, one sentence at a time, though I have to keep batting away its intrusive attempts to get me to sign up. Others like Grammarly will insist that I sign up before I even get my first answer, so I consider Ginger to be a better route and probably a more common route for a lot of us pikers.

Second, it catches an unusual number of problems. It can change "I am form Cleveland" to I am from Cleveland". It does not catch "I born in 1954" or "These mistakes involve in my sentence". But it catches a number of other problems.

It is seeking to incorporate more contextual information that a computer can cull from a sentence. For example, it should be obvious in "I am form Cleveland" that "form" should be "from". It's obvious to a human, but definitely not to a computer. Ginger hopes to correct this, and to some degree it has.

It has further promised to adapt to each individual user, to his slang and proper name words. The article says that some say that Grammarly does a better job. I'm sure Grammarly says that. To me, they seem to be head-to-head. I don't pay for either service, but rather try to get a window into what they do, from outside, and from their free service. Grammarly offers "Grammarly lite" but you have to load it onto your computer. Ginger offers this free on computers, and an app to download onto your Android (this apparently is the newest innovation, and ensures huge popularity abroad).

Ginger seems to be the creation of some Israeli computer and natural-language-processing folks with an increasing supply of capital; it gets this from "Li Ka-Shing's Horizon Ventures and Harbor Pacific Capital". The market for effective English proofreading skills is huge. They've made no inroads into the Facebook meme free-advertising (grammar consciousness) movement, but maybe they don't have to! This is from the CrunchBase page: " Founded in 2008, Ginger has offices in the US and Israel and is backed by Mr. Zohar Gilon, Horizons Ventures, the venture capital fund owned by Mr. Li Ka-shing, and Harbor Pacific Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture firm."


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