If you have just found your Word 2016 document littered with words that are underlined with two horizontal blue lines, then you have just stumbled upon a new feature of Word: Editor. Microsoft claim that
Editor is like your personal writing assistant, helping you write better documents and emails, bringing out the best writer in you. Along with spelling and grammar suggestions, editor gives you better proofing and editing services than before.
Note that the Editor feature is available only to users who have an Office 365 subscription, and that the only language currently supported is English.
In a nutshell, Editor purports to give you better proofing and editing services together with spelling and grammar suggestions. The goal is to make it easier for you to choose the right suggestions in the right context for your document by enhancing the way spelling, grammar and style suggestions are made. Call it arrogant and egotistical if you want, but Microsoft claim that the machine learning and natural language processing technologies now present in Word 2016 will educate you, and improve your writing style. Yeah, right. English lessons from a machine… You are free to take such claims with a pinch of salt.
Here is an example of the double blue underline in Word:
When you right click on the phrase in error, you get the following suggestion:
In this case, the suggestion is actually helpful. The author clearly meant “another” and not “an other”. Afer right clicking on the word, you can select “Another” (see the description of its meaning), Ignore the “error” or See More suggestions.
But lets put the machine learning and natural language processing technologies in Word 2016 through their paces. Let’s think of a phrase that sounds right, but is grammatically wrong. For example:
Oh dear. The fare should be fair and have a double blue underline as punishment, but Word 2016 hasn’t spotted it. Fail!
What about another simple test:
Hymn vs Him
Hymn should obviously be him. No double blue underline, and another fail. I think that’s two to me and one to Word. We’d better stop there…
If you want to be reckless, turn off Word’s suggestions and go it alone, click the File tab > Options > Proofing and uncheck the box labeled Mark grammar errors as you type.