The English language is changing rapidly, so it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date and accurate with writing and speaking. Tools that help with this, tools like Stylebot, are garnering attention fast.
What is Stylebot? In her ACES 2021 Online session, Stylebot founder Laura Davis described it as “a virtual editing assistant.” The session, featuring Davis and two other members of her team, Mimi Geller and Ruby Yuan, showcased Stylebot’s wide range of utility in fielding questions as simple as “superbowl” or “Super Bowl” to topics as imperative as gender specifications and cultural references.
Stylebot was born through Davis, as she noticed her students making common errors constantly in their writing. Davis used Slack’s chat feature to help them and, eventually, those interactions evolved into Stylebot. Since its origin, Stylebot has taken thousands of messages and developed more than 1,300 entries into its style guide.
Throughout the presentation, Stylebot was shown to be a Slack chat feature that takes questions regarding language, punctuation, grammar and more, and answers them with simple definitions and helpful examples. The chat can become so personalized that it will sometimes answer with gifs in response to a question. This is just one of the ways that Stylebot attempts to keep its users engaged.
"We want to put a smile on your face when we can," Davis said.
Presenter Mimi Geller claimed that Stylebot has the potential to turn into something incredibly important for editors and writers of all fields alike. It can be a tool that is not only useful for simple clarifications, but also as a potentially crucial fact-checking resource.
“There are words people said five or 10 years ago that just aren’t acceptable now,” said Geller.
As Stylebot continues to grow, more and more people will have access to more accurate writing skills, and that is its true purpose.
“I just hope that it’s helpful for people, that’s my goal,” Davis said.
Learn more about Stylebot at https://www.stylebot.app/home.
Registered conference attendees can click here to see this session through July 31, 2021.