Happy National Grammar Day, dear readers! I think it’s no small coincidence that the holiday falls on the same day as Mardi Gras this year. It ramps up the celebratory factor for both! I’d love to try earning some beads by diagramming sentences.
As you’ve probably realized by now, I’m utterly fascinated by grammar. I think language is our most powerful tool, and just as important as a rich vocabulary is the way it all fits together. I love studying the grammar of other languages–namely, Spanish and Old English (which is so different from modern that I’m going to call it a separate language). However, modern English is such a lovely, frustrating, evolving hodgepodge that one can never truly be done studying it.
With all of the grammar classes I’ve taken throughout my academic career, one of my favorite lessons was the concept of, “OK, these are the traditional rules, and it’s important to know them, because THIS is the effect when you subvert them.” So as a writer, it’s awesome to discover the power that breaking the rules in such a way creates.
So while I may be a member of the “grammar police”…like, every day (sorry, world)…I also like the reminder that our language is ever-changing, and that there are different ways to use it. I really liked this post by blogger Motivated Grammar, which takes a progressive look at the English language in celebration of the holiday. I hope you enjoy it, too. 🙂
Every time National Grammar Day comes around, I’m struck with a spot of dread. Any of my friends or acquaintances might, at any moment, spring upon me and shout “Hey! It’s totally your day! So don’t you hate when people use the passive voice, since you’re all into grammar?” And then I will be forced, as the crabby old coot I am, to meet their well-meaning inquiry with the level of vitriol normally reserved for a hairdresser who’s decided to treat your head as a testing ground for a new theory of hair design. “No,” I’ll shout, “that’s not it at all! I love the passive, I love variation! Grammar isn’t about telling people what they can’t say; it’s about finding out what people do say, and why they say it!” And through that outburst, my Facebook friend count will be reduced by one.
My problem with National Grammar…
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