In an interview on the website Grammarist, Lisa McLendon, also known as Madam Grammar, says: “If you know a little bit about linguistics and grammar, you are a more savvy media consumer, you can spot hedging or weaknesses in arguments, and you are aware of how people can mislead through language. On the more positive side, you understand why a well-written sentence works, how to find ‘just the right word,’ and how English got to be the glorious muddle it is today.” March 4 is National Grammar Day, the perfect day to celebrate the muddled English language.
National Grammar Day was established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. Brockenbrough is also the author of Things That Make Us [Sic]. Mignon Fogarty, better known as Grammar Girl, is hosting the 2015 event, although dozens of teachers, editors, writers, and journalists are celebrating as well.
In his blog Literal-Minded, Neal Whitman remembers he first found it interesting “to explore the parts of the grammar that might not be in the textbooks and find out what was going on” and suggests that National Grammar Day is a good opportunity to learn something new about the English language. On the lighter side, the American Copy Editors Society is sponsoring the National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest. Arika Okrent, linguist, author, and Mental Floss contributor, won last year’s contest with these lines:
I am an error
And I will reveal myself
After you press send
John McIntyre, who edits for the Baltimore Sun, hosts a Grammarnoir serial podcast, the first of which broadcast in 2009 on the first National Grammar Day. Richard Nordquist, who is the grammar and composition expert at About.com, has a National Grammar Day Grammar Quiz. Grammarly.com also has a fun online quiz: What kind of grammar nerd are you?
Overall, the Gordon Group, LLC, “a marketing consulting, public relations, social media, branding and tagline development, copywriting, copyediting, and proofreading firm,” reminds us that National Grammar Day is “a good day to reflect on the caliber of your written communications, including emails, blog posts, Tweets, brochures, trade-show collateral, and all of the rest, including your business cards, which don’t have a lot of real estate but are critical to messaging who you are.” So celebrate National Grammar Day by sharing what you love about the English language, your biggest pet peeves, or a fascinating fact about grammar on NCRA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.