Mighty Red Pen

March 4, 2013

Happy National Grammar Day!

Filed under: Grammar goddess — mighty red pen @ 7:00 am
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On this National Grammar Day, here are some suggestions of ways in which to celebrate:

Or make like MRP and bake some delicious chocolate truffle with sea salt cookies.

Wait, what? Yeah, that’s what I said: bake some cookies. Or, if baking isn’t your thing, do something else that brings you enjoyment on this day. Because, as I’ve said before and will say again, there’s nothing about National Grammar Day that should invite us to do anything other than share in the fun (and really, what goes together better than chocolate and grammar?). So settle back with a grammartini, sing the Grammar Song, and snuggle up with your favorite style guide. And have fun.

Have a happy National Grammar Day, wordies. March forth and peeve no more.

March 5, 2012

Because really, every day is Grammar Day

Filed under: Grammar goddess — mighty red pen @ 8:26 pm
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National Grammar Day 2012 may be but a happy memory, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take some of the magic with us. Here are just a few ways.

Check out Editor Mark’s blog for the winner of the 2012 National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest. Read a few of the runners-up, and follow the links there to read all 200 entries. And guess what? It’s not too early to start writing your haiku for next year . . . 

Think passive voice is always wrong? Think you can never split an infinitive? Then step right this way. At the official National Grammar Day website, check out Grammar Girl’s list of Top Ten Grammar Myths. And if you’re interested in grammar myths, you’ll want to check out Stan Carey’s post at Sentence First on this topic as well.

The Grammar Monkeys have a few words of wisdom for all of us on the subject of grammar. “While grammar costs nothing, ignoring it might cost quite a bit: Research has found that not only do readers notice mistakes, they engage less with websites that have language errors, and they are far less likely to buy something from a website that has even a single misspelling.” Check out “Grammar costs nothing.”

Finally, check out the thrilling conclusion to John E. McIntyre’s serial, “Grammarnoir: Final Edition,” Part IV: The Chief.

March 3, 2012

March forth for grammar!

Filed under: Grammar goddess,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 8:15 pm

Celebrate National Grammar Day on March 4! Visit the official website (maintained by Grammar Girl) for many ways to celebrate, including the recipe for the official Grammartini (developed by founder Martha Brockenbrough), grammar e-cards, t-shirts, links to other blogs that are honoring the day, desktop wallpaper by Thomas McGee like the one you see here, and much more.

Editor Mark’s National Grammar Day haiku contest closes at 10 p.m. on 3/3 (so there may still be a few hours left), but stay tuned for announcements about the winning haiku. Be sure to check out John E. McIntyre’s Grammarnoir (part I, part II, part III), always a National Grammar Day treat. Part IV will be unveiled on the big day. And check out copyediting.com for tips and ideas about celebrating grammar and language every day.

And finally, on this day and on every day, let’s remember one thing: Be kind. To err is human, and National Grammar Day isn’t about getting the biggest red pen you can find (literal or verbal) and striking fear in the hearts of those around you who may spell something incorrectly, dangle a participle, or choose the wrong word. It’s not about upping the ante on bashing others for getting something “wrong” or for pedantically correcting those around us.

Language is beautiful and complex, and we are all challenged by it sometimes. I began blogging six years ago, and in that time, I have gotten to “know” many of my fellow word nerds through their blogs (see blogroll) and through daily chatter over Twitter. I don’t always get it right (and, goodness knows, I just can’t shake that it’s/its mistake I sometimes make!), and I’m grateful to wordies who have gently shown me the way as we together explore the nuances of working with words. Conversing each day with my language comrades-in-arms about the topics in which we share a common interest is a joy. National Grammar Day is just a day for celebrating that joy.


March 3, 2011

Happy National Grammar Day!

Filed under: Grammar goddess — mighty red pen @ 6:24 pm

National Grammar Day. It’s the first sign of spring for word nerds.

Check out the official site, hosted by Grammar Girl, for quizzes, video, and other celebratory tidbits.

Check out You Don’t Say, where John McIntyre brings us this year’s installment of “Grammarnoir” (part 1, part 2, part 3).

March 4, 2010

Happy National Grammar Day!

Filed under: Grammar goddess — mighty red pen @ 8:40 am
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March Forth: The Grammar Song

And if you haven’t been reading John McIntyre’s Grammarnoir serial, “Pulp Diction,” get started: part I, part II, part III, and the thrilling conclusion.

March 3, 2010

’Twas the night before National Grammar Day

Filed under: Grammar goddess — mighty red pen @ 8:15 pm
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What not to do on National Grammar Day:

Now go forth in peace and peeve no more, for March 4th is a day of joy and celebration in our common love of the English language and its wonders.

H/t The New Yorker. 

March 2, 2010

Getting ready for National Grammar Day!

Filed under: Grammar goddess,Wordsworthy — mighty red pen @ 5:56 pm
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Crackerjack Copy Editor shared this quote with me today:

Language, be it remember’d, is not an abstract construction of the learn’d, or of dictionary-makers, but is something arising out of the work, needs, ties, joys, affections, tastes, of long generations of humanity, and has its bases broad and low, close to the ground. Its final decisions are made by the masses, people nearest the concrete, having most to do with actual land and sea. It impermeates all, the Past as well as the Present, and is the grandest triumph of the human intellect.

—Walt Whitman

This quote put me in mind of National Grammar Day, which is this Thursday, March 4. MRP has been proud to be a participating blog since National Grammar Day was founded  by our friend Martha Brockenbrough at SPOGG in 2008. This year, our host is none other than GrammarGirl herself, Mignon Fogarty. Check out the new spiffed up Grammar Day website, where you can take a grammar quiz, send a National Grammar Day e-card, and listen to “March Forth,” the grammar song!

March 4, 2009

Dames like her celebrate National Grammar Day

Here’s something amusing to cap off our celebration of National Grammar Day. It comes to us courtesy of John McIntyre over at You Don’t Say, a little something-something he likes to call Grammarnoir. Better still, it features National Grammar Day founder Martha Brockenbrough in a starring role. Here’s a little excerpt:

“He got so angry once over my . . . my friend’s placement of only in a sentence that she was afraid she would have to call the police.”

“Baby, I’ve met a million of ’em. This place used to crawl with ’em before the bottom fell out of the paragraph game. But why are you coming to me about this bozo?”

“Well, I heard, Mr. McIntyre, that you’re a highly professional copy editor.”

“I’ve nailed the errant adverb in my time.”

“I thought you could talk to him, work with him, help him somehow.”

“Toots, I’ve got it soft here. Twenty an hour, and I don’t have to furnish my own pencil. I don’t need the aggravation.”

“But Mr. McIntyre, National Grammar Day is almost here. It’s March 4, and I’m so afraid for him, and for my friend, that if he isn’t turned around by then, something terrible might happen.” She sobbed softly into a dainty little lace thing she’d plucked from her purse. 

 Check out the complete serial.

March 3, 2009

Happy National Grammar Day!

Filed under: Grammar goddess — mighty red pen @ 9:25 pm
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Have a happy National Grammar Day, everyone!  On March 4, hop on over to the official site for ideas of ways to celebrate, to listen to the songs in the “Bad Grammar Hall of Fame,” to take a quick grammar quiz, and to check out the other participating blogs (many of which can be found in MRP’s blogroll, too).

So, if you’re not too hung over from celebrating National Square Root Day, mix yourself a grammartini and raise a glass to National Grammar Day!

Brought to us by our friends at SPOGG.

May 28, 2008

Splitting hairs

In the article by Jan Freeman that I posted about yesterday, she mentioned a recent post on Language Log called “Crazies Win.” I didn’t follow up, but a subsequent comment by the ever-vigilant TootsNYC compelled me to check out what the fuss was all about.

Well, what I found was a kerfuffle about split infinitives to rock the blogosphere the likes of which I’ve not seen since the whole National Grammar Day incident. Word nerds gone wild!

If you can tease out the threads worth reading from the name-calling and hurt feelings, there are two interesting conversations going. One is about the basic issue of splitting infinitives (to do it or not to do it?) and the other is about grammar rules: to apply or not to apply, when, and why or why not? A commenter calling herself “Linda the Copy Editor” chimed in:

I’m sure this will make you all laugh, but I wish commenters could distinguish between “prescriptivists” who have some idea what they’re talking about and “prescriptivists” who don’t. To me, people who don’t accept singluar “they,” for example, might be compared to people who think it’s unethical to take ballpoint pens home from the office.

Check out the Language Log post got the party started (read the comments, too) and then check out the post on the blog Punctuality Rules! that kept it going all night long. And at times like this, I like to conclude with the sage words of John McIntyre at You Don’t Say, who gives the issue a proper round-up.

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