Tag Archives: Grammar Day

Lift a glass for Grammar Day

Grammar Day - Twitter hashtagStarted in 2008 by author Martha Brockenbrough, National Grammar Day is a time to celebrate, and foster an appreciation for, clear writing. It’s observed every year on March fourth — the date that, when pronounced, forms a complete sentence.

A few years ago, Mark Allen — of ACES: The Society for Editing — started a Grammar Day haiku contest on Twitter. This year, tired (I guess) of counting syllables, Mark switched the format to limericks.

The judges must’ve liked my limericks. This one took first place:

“Faulty parallelism, you see,
I eschew most assiduously.”
Thus said Constable Brown
As he sat himself down
And ate limburger, ham, and sipped tea.

And this one tied for second:

Old Frumpengruff’s might’ly perturbed
When he hears that a noun has been verbed.
Though it’s gone on for ages,
Still he (18th c.) fusses and (14th) rages —
In high dudgeon that cannot be (16th) curbed.

I’m delighted and honored, of course. But really, it’s all about celebrating clear writing. Take time to read all of the winning limericks — and take time every day to celebrate our language and deploy it in the name of clear communication.

What’s all the fuss about Grammar Day?

What’s all this fuss about national gamma rays?

Um, Emily, it’s Grammar Day. Not gamma ray. National Grammar Day.

National Grammar Day?Grammar Day - Twitter hashtag


Oh, that’s very different. Grammar Day is important. Never mind.

Emily gets it: Grammar Day is important. Every March fourth (the date that, when pronounced, forms a complete sentence) lovers of our language march forth — celebrating that language and showing others how to enjoy it.

If it sounds like an occasion for professors, editors, and ink-stained scribblers to feel smug, you’re missing the point. It’s an occasion to spread the good word about good writing, and to have some fun doing it.

The “Be explicit” mug I won for composing the winning #GrammarDay haiku in 2012

Why good writing? You write in order to connect with other people. If your writing is clear — your usage precise, your words meaning exactly what they’re supposed to mean — you’ll make that connection. But if your writing is unclear, communication suffers — like it did for Emily — and the connection is weakened. Sometimes it’s completely broken.

So celebrate with me. Come see what’s happening at the National Grammar Day website. Be on hand when the winning #GrammarDay haiku is unveiled. And, who knows? You might pick up some writing tips that will help you connect with people.

(1 March 2017: Updated link to #GrammarDay haiku)