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kristie911
03-20-2006, 11:08 AM
It seems that everytime I use the words herself or himself, Word kicks it back as incorrect. I'm not sure if I'm using it incorrectly or if Word is just stupid.

examples:

The next morning Shawn was feeling better and managed to get herself to breakfast on time.

If I add a "she" in front of managed it makes it correct according to Word but I think it works like it is. Here's another:

Martha talked about the boys, each in turn, and Shawn found herself learning a lot about each.

I feel like this is a weak, confusing sentence, yet is says what I need it to. Just not well...but again it's showing "herself" as incorrect. What should it be?

twisterpal
03-20-2006, 11:35 AM
Word has a problem with casual style. I've learned to ignore it. Most non-fiction works better with the writer's voice, and If you're writing fiction, with a certain "voice" or style, the interuption can be distracting.

reph
03-20-2006, 11:49 AM
"Herself" is okay in those two sentences. Never mind what Word says.

Maryn
03-20-2006, 06:14 PM
We have a standing joke about Word grammar checker, but I can't repeat it here. When the kids were younger and left the grammar checker feature on all the time, the joke was "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" (from The Wizard of Oz). By sixth or seventh grade they recognized that many of the 'errors' it noted were either not errors at all or were errors they'd made deliberately, in dialogue or a voice which was casual and error-ridden.

If your language skills are pretty good, why not turn it off? If it would give you peace of mind, in that final edit you could turn it on for one pass, to consider the mistakes it catches and decide if any of them are things you should change. I predict most will not be.

Maryn, whose computer has never had grammar check turned on

kristie911
03-20-2006, 07:04 PM
I actually never thought to turn it off but I think I'll try that. The little green squiggles stress me out and I find myself trying to fix them even though they were purposful "mistakes" to begin with, especially in dialogue.

Thanks everyone!!

Jamesaritchie
03-20-2006, 07:46 PM
It seems that everytime I use the words herself or himself, Word kicks it back as incorrect. I'm not sure if I'm using it incorrectly or if Word is just stupid.

examples:

The next morning Shawn was feeling better and managed to get herself to breakfast on time.

If I add a "she" in front of managed it makes it correct according to Word but I think it works like it is. Here's another:

Martha talked about the boys, each in turn, and Shawn found herself learning a lot about each.

I feel like this is a weak, confusing sentence, yet is says what I need it to. Just not well...but again it's showing "herself" as incorrect. What should it be?


well, "himself" and "herself" should, technically, only be used in conjunction with a noun, as in "George himself," or "Shawn hersefl," or when they refer directly back to the subject. Word grammar check has trouble telling when these words are used correctly.

You do not want to add a "she" to this sentence, you want to remove "herself." Take "herself" out of the sentence and try reading it. The next morning Shawn was feeling better and managed to get to breakfast on time.

That's a better sentence. If she were trying to get anyone but herself to breakfast on time, they would have been named. This is one of the reasons for the rule. Not following it often leads to unnecessary words or redundancies, and even when you do follow it, there can still be problems.

Your second sentence, Martha talked about the boys, each in turn, and Shawn found herself learning a lot about each also has problems because of pronoun use.

Try Martha talked about the boys, each in turn, and Shawn learned a lot about each.

One active word, "learned," is much better than the three passive words "found himself learning."

reph
03-20-2006, 09:34 PM
Well, if we're going for other possible revisions, "...Shawn learned a lot about them" would sound smoother.

I hear a difference between getting to breakfast and getting yourself to breakfast. The latter implies more resistance against drag.

Jamesaritchie
03-20-2006, 09:49 PM
Well, if we're going for other possible revisions, "...Shawn learned a lot about them" would sound smoother.

I hear a difference between getting to breakfast and getting yourself to breakfast. The latter implies more resistance against drag.

I agree. I was trying not to do any more rewriting than humanly possible, but you're right. Your sentence is smoother.