March 4, 2008

It's National Grammar Day!

As Doug Fisher says on his blog, Common Sense Journalism:

"So on this day to celebrate 'good' grammar, let's simply stop and take stock of what it is, or should be -- and what it isn't --and ask a simple question: Am I making myself as clear as I can to those with whom I am communicating? And we might ask what some of the conventions are and why they do or don't help us communicate."

Here's the official National Grammar Day site, and here's the day's sponsor, the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, aka SPOGG.

And don't miss this article in the Chicago Tribune about not getting carried away on National Grammar Day. Nathan Bierma quotes the NGD site:

"'If you see a sign with a catastrophic apostrophe, send a kind note to the storekeeper,' urges SPOGG at 'If your local newscaster says "Between you and I," set him straight with a friendly e-mail.' Such corrections are seldom friendly, welcome or necessary. They are usually self-righteous, irritating and misinformed."

(This is technically not a grammar issue but a punctuation issue - it's a quote within a quote within a quote, and I confess that I had no idea how to punctuate three levels of quotation marks. Thank you Grammar Girl for clearing that up for me!)

Of course, I prefer good grammar to poor grammar, particularly in a professional setting, in professional writing, or from professional speakers. In casual writing and conversation, I don't care so much. Because communication is not about perfection, it's about connection.

Nobody's perfect, and I certainly don't claim to be. As I've said before in my many rants about rules, I think it's more important to build relationships and be understood than it is to rigidly follow all the rules. (Thank you Mignon Fogarty for saying it's okay to split infinitives.)

So get out there and make yourself clear. It's all you can do.

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2 comments. Please add yours! :

Manick said...


Where is it celebrated? In US? The first time I heard about National Grammar Day.

I am, in fact, visiting to see whether your popular posts widget is working. It seems it is working. It takes some time to collect the data. Thanks.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Yes, it's apparently a US event, although this is only the first year it's happened, so I don't think very many people know about it.

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