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Celebrating The Beauty Of Words & Language: It’s National Grammar Day
March 4, 2013
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Its here (sic). Your welcome (sic)

For those of you who don't know, today is National Grammar Day (in the U.S.). But there's no reason we can't celebrate here too.

Every year, on March 4th (or as it's also known march forth), the rules that govern the English language are celebrated by anyone and everyone who love words.

National Grammar Day was founded in 2008 by author and editor Martha Brockenbrough, who also founded 'The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar'.

"Words can make us laugh, cry, fall in love, fall apart," Brockenbrough told The Chicago Tribune.

"That so many people care about expressing themselves thoughtfully, respectfully, clearly -- it's kind of miraculous."

It's true. A book by Lynne Truss about the importance of punctuation called Eats, Shoots & Leaves was a New York Times bestseller in 2004.

And former science writer Mignon Fogarty has a popular educational podcast called Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.

celebrating-the-beauty-of-words-and-language-it's-national-grammar-day-feature2.jpg It promotes the proper use of the English language and was named one of the best podcasts of 2007 by iTunes.

Fogarty, who's appeared on Oprah and CBC Radio, is no fan of - as fellow grammarian Kory Stamper puts it - "asshattery in the name of grammar".

But she encourages people to keep up to date with style guides and "soak up the richness of the language".

Fogarty pretty much spends the day tweeting, blogging and posting short stories, songs, photos and other Grammar inspired stuff, on her Facebook page.

An example of this, is the annual Grammar Day haiku contest. One of the stellar entries from last year:

Wanted: one pronoun,
To take the place of he/she
"They" need not apply.

One of the judges for the contest - linguist and lexicographer Ben Zimmer - told The Atlantic he doesn't want Grammar Day to be "dominated by those clinging to outmoded or flat-out bogus rules, and expressing outrage at anyone who doesn't obey those rules."

He said, "Let's use National Grammar Day as an opportunity to think about what grammar actually is, and to be open to differing opinions about grammatical propriety.

If grammar evokes anxiety or crankiness, relax for a day! Don't get hung up on the rise of singular 'they' or the decline of 'whom.' Don't fret about the correct placement of 'only,' or whether 'none' needs to take a singular verb."

Kory Stamper, a lexicographer for Merriam-Webster agrees.

She writes, "You may think you are some great Batman of Apostrophes, flitting through the dark aisles of the Piggly-Wiggly, bringing Truth and Justice to tormented signs everywhere!

But in reality, you are a jerk who has defaced a sign that some poor kid, or some poor non-native English speaker, or some educated and beleaguered mom who is working her second job of the day, spent time making..."

As the Atlantic reports, she writes "Instead of calling people out on March 4th for all the usages they get wrong, how about pointing out all the thing things that people -against all odds - get right?"

Sounds like good advice for life in general, not just grammar.

You can find out more about National Grammar Day here, and here with 7 Sentences That Appear Weird But Are Still Grammatically Sound.

And for the lighter side of grammar, please see the funny "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks.

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