Coaches Care About Grammar

Mignon Fogarty


football grammar

Everyone wants to know what's expected of them, and even football coaches can see that the right wording helps—or at least they used to.

In 1937, Gil Dobie, coach of the Boston College football team (and a former Cornell tutor) raised the issue of poor writing in the rule book during the annual meeting of the American Football Coaches' Association.

He was quoted as saying the rule book was "shot through with ambiguities, grammatical redundancies and poor choice of words, making clean-cut and consistent interpretation difficult for coach, player and official."

It's not clear whether he got the wording changes he wanted, but he had already had an amazing coaching career and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951. I hope there were no spelling errors on the invitation!

See the full article from the February 6, 1937 edition of the St. Joseph News-Press.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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