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National Grammar Day

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!

About the Founder

National Grammar Day was established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) and author of Things That Make Us [Sic]See our letter from President Bush.

 

About the Host

In 2013, National Grammar Day is hosted by Mignon Fogarty, the author of the New York Times best-selling bookGrammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing and The Grammar Devotional.

 

 

Media Contact

Mignon Fogarty is available for National Grammar Day interviews. Her entertaining and inventive approach to teaching grammar has delighted audiences in her appearance on Oprah and countless television and radio interviews in cities and towns across the country. Requests for interviews should be sent to media@quickanddirtytips.com.

Contests

Grammarly is holding "Edit This," a series of mini-contests, on Facebook and Twitter. Winners get a Grammarly shirt and a free one month of Grammarly.com. Check out the blog for more details: http://www.grammarly.com/blog/2014/edit/

The winners are in! See the winning haiku from @EditorMark's 2014 National Grammar Day haiku contest.  

See the winners of the Grammarly National Grammar Day photo contest. You're guaranteed to say "Oh, dear!"

Copyediting.com is holding an AnaGrammar contest. Unscramble the grammar-related anagrams for a chance to win prizes.

Free Wallpaper and Icons

Thomas McGee has created adorable National Grammar Day wallpaper files and punctuation icons.

·  National Grammar Day Wallpapers (Vol. 1)

·  National Grammar Day Wallpapers (Vol 2.)

·  Punctuicons Grammar-themed Icon Set

·  Style Guides Icon Set

 

Free App

Thomas McGee has launched Jottly, a free app to help writers and grammar-lovers organize and share notes, ideas, and more.

New Articles

It’s Grammar Day! Is My Exclamation Point Wrong? (Interview with Mignon Fogarty and WNPR)

 Writing Dialects with Grammar Girl (“Remember, they key to writing dialects, or accents, or using made-up words is clarity.”  Hide and Create podcast)

Every day is grammar day when you’ve got this job (“…one thing that was guaranteed to stress her out: Seeing "Caesar salad" misspelled on the menu.” CNN Living)

7 Sentences That Sound Crazy But Are Still Grammatical  (“The horse raced past the barn fell.”  MentalFloss) 

When Language Evolves: The Thing About Grammar and Blogging (“…especially with blogging, that we also need to consider the way that language evolves over time…”  In Other Words)

Why I Teach Grammar (“… I think we should teach grammar, not because it will help people write better, but simply because it’s interesting and worth knowing about.” Arrant Pedantry)

Amn’t I glad we use “amn’t” in Ireland ("I grew up in Ireland using expressions and grammatical constructions that I took to be normal English, only to discover years later that what counts as normal in language usage can be highly dependent on geography and dialect." Sentence First)

Stop! Grammar Time (A fun collection of National Grammar Day tips and cartoons from Owen Lockwood)

 National Grammar Day – Active Versus Passive Voice (“How much do you know about active and passive voice? Just the words make some writers cringe.”  Write Now

Questions for a Professional Grammarian: Elizabeth O'Brien ("Language is a fundamental and personal subject, so an understanding of it brings confidence and a sense of awe." Copyediting.com)

I Don't Know Grammar: An Editorial Confession ("My point is this: I don't really need to know what grammar is." Logophilious)

Show Some Respect for National Grammar Day! Avoid Mistakes on ACT, SAT Writing Tests ("... common grammatical mistakes we have seen in our ACT and SAT writing test workshops." WOW Writing Workshop)

Ten More Grammar Myths, Debunked ("Disinterested and uninterested are separating, not blurring." Motivated Grammar)

Shop Talk (Interview with Mignon Fogarty, "I adore the updated blue cover with the orange that boldly peeks out to pay homage to the past. When I first saw it in a bookstore, I oohed and aahed, grabbed my husband, and dragged him over to look at it." The Chicago Manual of Style Online)

Who Edits the Editors? ("You’re making the rest of us look bad." Arrant Pedantry)

3 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Writing ("People researching products and companies would much rather read something with some character (read: brand humanization) than something that’s sterile and lacking personality." In Other Words)

Happy National Grammar Day ("Stick around and learn more about the first of my featured Literary Ladies: Ann Fisher, first female grammarian and no doubt a huge fan of National Grammar Day, wherever she is now." Rebecca Straple Editing Services)

7 Sentences that Sound Crazy but are Still Grammatical ("The rat the cat the dog chased killed ate the malt." Mental Floss)

10 Ways to Celebrate National Grammar Day (Writing Forward)

The Talk ("Natalie and I had The Talk ... Oh, goodness, not that talk. The Me-Versus-I Talk." Bug and the Sweet Banana)

Good Grammar Doesn't Entitle You to Be Smug ("You know, if you are an editor, that your scrupulous attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar, usage, and house style is, if the larger questions are allowed to go unaddressed, essentially an exercise in what is inelegantly called turd polishing." Baltimore Sun)

How Do We Love Thee, Grammar? Count the Ways on Grammar Day ("From grammar comes pretty much everything else." Atlantic Wire)

Did You Know ("What kind of writers would we be without a few guidelines to keep us in line, you know?" Write Know)

Celebrate National Grammar Day with Me (She hosts "Mistake Monday" on Facebook. Investment Writing)

Raise Your Grammartini Glass to National Grammar Day (Chicago Tribune)

Grammar Geeks, UNITE! (Errors in Frosting. "Today we are NOT the nit-picking jerks of the comment section; today we are HEROES. HEROES, I SAY!!"CakeWrecks)

Why I'm Celebrating National Grammar Day and Why You Should, Too ("I confess I have a sickness. I can spot an extra space in a 5000 word document." GeekyMomma's Blog)

Between You and Me, Grammar Matters ("...my third wish would be for Amazon and Smashwords to insist that every indie title be vetted by a competent proofreader before they will publish it." Indies Unlimited)

The Imperatives of National Grammar Day ("Grammar, from a Greek word for 'letters,' is related to all those Greek-derived words referring to some form of writing [photography, for instance, meaning 'writing with light']." Christian Science Monitor)

A Plea for Sanity this National Grammar Day ("What I cannot defend, however, is asshattery in the name of grammar." Kory Stamper,  Harmless Drudgery)

Is It Website or Web Site? A Social Media Grammar Lesson from the AP. ("By now, shouldn't we all be spelling 'website' the same way, as in one word that is all lowercase?" Maccabee)

National Grammar Day: A Time for Reconciliation (" 'Ms. Crocker taught us NEVER to start a sentence with because.' In such situations, it’s tempting to reply: 'Ms. Crocker needs to get out more.' ” James Dante)

Past Winners

Gerald Warfield won the 2011 National Grammar Day short story contest with his story "The Origin of Third Person in Paleolithic Epic Poetry." Read the whole story.

First runner-up: "When Mr. Brown Met Miss Fox: A Love Story" by Rich Russell
Honorable mention: "When Ellipses Meet" by Michael Kroth
Honorable mention: "March Forth" by Sandy Listorti

Editor Mark's National Grammar Day Haiku Contest

2014 Winner

         Wow. Very poem / Amaze syllabifying. / Because #grammarday. 

          — Nancy Friedman (@Fritinancy) March 4, 2014

 

2013 Winner

2012 Winner

2011 Winner

Spell-checkers won't catch
You're mistaken homophones
Scattered hear and their

-- Gord Roberts

(Note that we use the term "haiku" loosely, and read What is a haiku--and what isn't for an explanation.)

Winner of the 2010 Parts-of-Speech Poetry Contest

The King of Ing 

I love the King of Ing
He makes me want to sing
Add him to an action word
And it's a gerund... now a thing!

-- Nancy Wright

See more of our favorite language poems!

March Forth: The Grammar Song

We created a special song just for National Grammar Day. ("March Forth" for March fourth, get it?) Listen to a 30-second sample.

Buy the mp3 from iTunes (we have both the full version and an instrumental version so you can make up your own lyrics), and get the sheet music from Erika Paul.

Lyrics to "March Forth"

Take the quiz.

The Grammartini

National Grammar Day founder, Martha Brockenbrough, shares her grammartini recipe to spice up your celebrations:

  1. 2 1/2 oz gin
  2. 1/2 oz dry vermouth (The ratio is what's important.)
  3. 1 green olive (Some people use lemon. I say, what is up with that?)
  4. Pour the ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice cubes. (I use a Value Village cocktail shaker.)
  5. Stir for 30 seconds. (You can also shake, but John McIntyre says this bruises the gin. Who wants to be charged with gin abuse?)
  6. Strain into a martini glass.
  7. Drink

Grammar Noir: The Wages of Syntax

Baltimore writer and editor John McIntyre of the "You Don't Say" blog continues his tradition of writing a grammarnoir series to commemorate National Grammar Day. 

Grammarnoir 6: Grammar Never Takes a Holiday (2014)

Part I: Trouble Wears Cheaters

Part II: Perfidious Albion

Part III: The hotsy-totsy lexicographer

 

Grammarnoir 5: The Shame of the Prose (2013)

Part 1: See a Fellow About a Scam
Part II: The Capo
Part III: Cocktails with Colleen

Grammarnoir 4: Final Edition (2012)

Part I: "A belle in the night"
Part II: "The mission"
Part III: "The belly of the beast"
Part IV: "The Chief"
 

Grammarnoir 3: The Wages of Syntax (2011)

Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

 "The Wages of Syntax" as a complete audio program

 Grammarnoir 2: "Pulp Diction" (2010) 

 Grammarnoir 1 (2009) 

Funny Typos

Sometimes the spell-checker is not your friend.

Jeanette L. misspelled "inconvenience" in an e-mail, and spell-check helpfully "fixed" the word to make it "incontinence": I'm sorry for any incontinence this may have caused.

Snicker at other embarrassing typos, or add your own!

Ten Grammar Myths Exposed

Read the explanations before you write to express your outrage.

  1. A run-on sentence is a really long sentence.
  2. You shouldn't start a sentence with the word "however."
  3. "Irregardless" is not a word.
  4. There is only one way to write the possessive form of a word that ends in "s."
  5. Passive voice is always wrong.
  6. "I.e." and "e.g." mean the same thing.
  7. You use "a" before words that start with consonants and "an" before words that start with vowels.
  8. It's incorrect to answer the question "How are you?" with the statement "I'm good."
  9. You shouldn't split infinitives.
  10. You shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

Brief explanations with links to more detailed discussions

Free Materials for Classroom Fun and Learning

Do you teach? Thank you! If we ruled the world, we would pay you more, give you smaller classes, and insist that people put you on the pedestal of worship that you deserve.

Alas, we do not rule the world. The best we can do is offer some materials you can use in class.

Our Favorite Language-Themed Cartoons

Crazy Sarah Behind the Grammar, Mignon Fogarty
The End of Grammar and Spelling Is Near! Speed Bump, Dave Coverly
One Thing the Internet Can't Ignore Chuck & Beans, Brian
Effect an Effect  XKCD
Fun and Games Yet Another Web Comic (YAWC), Lou Manglass
Words Can't Describe Toothpaste for Breakfast, Drew
Grandpa Killed the Internet Non Sequitur, Wiley Miller
Lying in LoveCandorville, Darrin Bell
Grammar PoliceWinePress of Words
 

Find more grammar cartoons at Pinterest.

Wear Your Good Grammar on Your Sleeve

Celebrate National Grammar Day with fun language-themed T-shirts.


Every day is National Grammar Day

Talk grammar to me, baby.

To infinitives and beyond!
 

A Calendar for the Grammar Devotee

 

Click to open in a new window:
 

 

Other National Grammar Day Articles

Singular "They" and the Many Reasons Why It's Correct by Gabe Doyle 

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times, It was 10 Identical Clauses by Grammaropolis

The Most Majestically Sublime Press Release a Gaggle of Lexicographers Ever Perpetrated by Eileen Burmeister

Why We Need Grammar by Lisa McLendon

Cover Design and Grammar at Chronicle Books by Kate Woodrow

A Tongue-in-Cheek National Grammar Day Quiz by Dennis Baron

Celebrating the Orderly Flow of Words in Our Lives by Alan Headbloom

Oh, for a Muse of Correctness by Michael Lyons

A National Grammar Day Cartoon and Blog Post
5 easy ways to learn grammar with The New York Times.

Why the Heck Am I Observing National Grammar Day, Anyway?
Neal Whitman reflects on the meaning of the day on his Literal-Minded blog.

Wouldn't It Be Horrible If Your Business Cards Were Incorrect?
The Gordon Group reminds us why grammar (and design) matters.

The Role of Language in Red Cross Work
The Red Cross explains why language matters for their work. Check out their Language Banks. 

Grammar's Top Five on Twitter
Emily Wenstrom recommends her five favorite language tweeters. 

Love from the Grammar Monkeys
The Grammar Monkeys, from the Wichita Eagle, honor National Grammar Day, grammar geeks, and sentence diagramming. 

See Who Else Is Celebrating

The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar
SPOGG is for people appalled by bad grammar in public spaces. The blog calls out goofs by celebrities, politicians, marketers, and more. The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar is the founder of National Grammar Day.

About Grammar and Composition
Richard Nordquist is your guide to all things grammatical on About.com. He's a professor and the author of several guides for writers.

Apostrophe Catastrophe
In 2007, Charmaine joined thousands of Texas Instruments employees in trying to convince the rest of the world that the company does more than make calculators, working as an editor in Communication Services. She went rogue in 2009.

Belletra
What happens when English becomes the language of the global business world? The polyglot Casey Butterfield, an editor, writes about the various things that can get lost in translation.

Bill Walsh: Blogslot
Bill Walsh is a copy editor at the Washington Post. He's also the author ofLapsing into a Comma and The Elephants of Style, two books every word-lover must own. His main site is called The Slot.

Carol Zuegner
Carol is an associate professor of journalism at Creighton University, who is excited about the future of journalism, whatever form it might take.

Common Errors on English Usage
Paul Brians covers all the annoying little words you've been confused about, and he doesn't like to be called "Brian."

Common Sense Journalism
Journalism instructor Doug Fisher has a wonderful blog for journalists and people interested in the media; he also offers up nuggets about style that serious writers will enjoy.

Computionary
Don Cavness records and defines the vocabulary of the computer.

Conjugate Visits
June Casagrande, author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies, blogs about "You know, like, grammar and stuff."

Copyediting.com
For communications officers of major corporations, editors of trade newsletters, freelancers for journal publishers, newspaper copy chiefs, managing editors at book publishers, writers for major magazines, and more.

DoWriteRight
Mike Clark shares his language thoughts, advice, and entreaties.

Editor Mark's Blog
On his active blog, Mark Allen shares his thoughts on journalism and copy editing, including grammar, usage and style.

The Editor's Desk
Andy Bechtel teaches writing and journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. He's especially interested in the meaning of words, and how they can be most ethically used in news reporting.

English, Jack
Bret Reynolds's second thoughts on English and how she's taught. 

Fritinancy
Nancy Friedman blogs about Names, brands, writing, and the quirks of the English language. "Fritinancy" is a delightful play on three things: her name, a word that means to chirp or creak, and the suggestion of frittering. Leave it to someone with "name developer" in her description to come up with something cool.

Gabrielle Edits
Gabrielle is a freelance editor, and her blog is full of useful information, advice and resources for writers, editors and freelancers.

GrammarBook.com
Jane Strauss's easily searchable site is filled with useful tutorials and quizzes. 

KOK Edit
KOK Edit's Katharine O'Moore-Klopf, ELS, has been working hard to make the world safe for readers since 1984. She spends much of her time helping non-native speakers of English from all over the world tidy up their grammar and syntax so that their articles can be published in U.S. medical journals and textbooks.

Literal Minded
Linguistic commentary from a guy who takes things too literally

Loving Family, Loving Language
Here's proof that good grammar is a family-friendly pursuit.

Grammar Monkeys
The copy desk at the Wichita Eagle wants to prevent you from slipping on the various banana peels of language.

JProf
Aspiring journalists can get news and tips for better writing and editing at this site, managed by journalism professor and author James Glen Stovall.

Michael's English Usage
Michael's stated purpose is to draw attention to the absolutely terrible misuse of the English language in general, and specifically, by the writers and news readers of his local media outlets.

Mighty Red Pen
This blog, developed by a professional writer and editor, is a treasure trove of amusing errors.

My Point Exactly
Lisa Pampuch, a journalist in Santa Clara County, writes about current events, language, and other interesting things on her blog.

Mrs. Write, Word Therapist
A professional writer and editor keeps this blog, where she expresses her love of grammar, punctuation, and correct word use.

National Association of Independent Writers and Editors
National Grammar Day is smack in the middle of Words Matter Week, which features teleseminars, book giveaways, and discussions about the way words affect us.

National Punctuation Day
Our sister language-themed day is always up for a celebration.

Newsroom 101
Learn how journalists write at Newsroom 101, which has more than 1,650 free exercises in Associated Press Style, which governs most newspapers.

Oh, My Word
Sara Rafferty connects with readers, writers, illustrators, teachers, learners, and particularly attractive celebrities.

The People's Dictionary
Add your own words to the People's Dictionary at WordMama.com.

The Sentence Sleuth
Bonnie Trenga, a frequent Grammar Girl guest-writer, hunts down hairy sentences on her own blog. 

Talk Wordy to Me
Brian White says, "Reading. Writing. Editing. It's all about the words. "

The Truth About Grammar
Two intrepid word lovers have declared war on errors.

A Walk in the Words
Laura Payne maintains this active linguistic tour for people who love having fun with words and language.

A Way with Words
This public radio show, featuring Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, is a treat for people who love language--and have a grammar pet peeve or two.

WordMama
Share your favorite words and phrases with the world.

Word Geeks
A blog about language and writing

Wordnik
Founded by Erin McKean, Wordnik's goal is "to show you as much information as possible, as fast as we can find it, for every word in English, and to give you a place where you can make your own opinions about words known."

Words at Work
Pam Robinson examines language issues with language and the media.

Writing Forward
Writing Forward is a fun, supportive blog where writers can gather to get creative writing tips and ideas. Featured topics include fiction and poetry writing, grammar, and literary news. The site also features writing exercises and prompts to provide writers with new challenges and inspiration.

You Don't Say
John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty.

 

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