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March 4th is National Grammar Day

March 4th is National Grammar Day

If you’ve been bemoaning the lack of language-related holidays, you’re in luck. Martha Brockenbrough, the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, established National Grammar Day in 2008 – and the annual celebration is coming up. It’s interesting to see more and more celebrations of language cropping up, like NaNoWriMo.

How does one honor the spirit of National Grammar Day? The official website puts it this way: “Language is something to celebrate, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!”

The (online) festivities include fiction and poetry writing contests, a theme song, free e-cards, teaching materials, t-shirts, photos, grammar tips, grammar haiku, and more. The site exposes popular grammar myths and boasts a collection of language-themed cartoons. And, of course, there are links to a number of resources to help visitors to the site improve their own grammar.

It’s nice to see a fun spin put on a subject that is all-too-often overlooked completely in classrooms – and which seems so cold and unapproachable to so many people of all ages. Maybe schools should start adopting Grammar Day celebrations.

Still, it’s not entirely clear exactly how one is supposed to celebrate National Grammar Day offline. Maybe singing along with “March Forth: The Grammar Song” (or tackling the sheet music, if you’re so inclined) while sipping on a tasty grammartini?

Do any language-loving Care2 members have plans for celebrating National Grammar Day? Let us know how you’re planning to promote well-written language on March 4th in the comments.

 

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Photo credit: Hash Milhan

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26 comments

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11:15PM PST on Mar 4, 2014

Just heard this...didn't know. Happy Grammar Day 2014!

12:38AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

I ain't never heard nothin' better than National Grammar Day!

2:15PM PST on Mar 2, 2012

I would also support a celebration of good punctuation. Bad punctuation can mangle even good grammar. The humble comma gets so abused, and as for the apostrophe....sigh..

10:00AM PST on Mar 2, 2012

I'll be sure to celebrate:)

7:11PM PST on Mar 1, 2012

Nice! Very interesting holiday that should be promoted in all the schools. :)

8:56AM PST on Mar 1, 2012

As someone who teaches a foreign language at the college level, I can't tell you how miserable the level of ignorance about English grammar is among our students. It seems to me that English grammar is no longer taught at either the grammar or high school levels. What this does to our students is to "cut them off at the knees", when trying to master a new language.
Some languages, like the one I teach are highly inflected (many cases for nouns, many conjugations for verbs), but our students don't even understand the term: "subject of the sentence"! So we end up teaching them both English grammar and that of the target language.
Some enterprising publishing houses have even been promoting their books entitled "English Grammar for Students of French, Spanish, German, etc. Many of my colleagues either assign these books or strongly recommend them.
Also, many universities have found it necessary to institute "Writing Intensive" courses, because the majority of students coming out of our high schools cannot write effectively. So a significant amount of students' time at university is spent learning what they ought have learned in the lower grades!

5:05PM PST on Feb 29, 2012

This is a great idea. Maybe, among other things, we can get people to use punctuation and spell check.

11:57AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

In honor of National Grammar Day, I am going to point out my "pet peeve" re grammar/word usage in online postings.

Folks, the word "chattel" is not a collective noun, as I frequently see it used on this and other sites. "Chattel" is defined as "a moveable piece of personal property" (including persons in the case of slaves). It is a singular noun, the plural of which is "chattels". You may have seen the term "goods and chattels" used in the Bible and elsewhere to describe the sum of one's earthly possessions.

Thus, you might say, "A woman is not a chattel" or "Children are not chattels"; but it is incorrect grammatically to say "Human beings are not chattel". I know this is a small thing, and the idea being expressed is more important than the grammar used; but it would make an aging English major very happy to see more correct use of this word in future.

11:47AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

I find myself correcting people's grammar a lot. Shame on me. But it IS a pet peeve of mine!

9:27AM PST on Feb 29, 2012

How very cool! I am a book editor and March 4 is my birthday. I am honored!

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