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The imperatives of National Grammar Day

Who knew that a day devoted to good grammar could be so much fun?

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How, dear reader, will you celebrate National Grammar Day?

National Grammar Day was launched in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, or SPOGG. It is being observed for the sixth time on March 4.

You've got to hand it to Ms. Brockenbrough for her inspired choice of date, which forms a complete sentence: March forth!

As Mignon Fogarty, of "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" fame, puts it:

"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!"

NationalGrammarDay.com has all kinds of fun stuff. There are free classroom materials, including a "correct the celebrity" quiz, appropriate for middle- and high-school students, in which they are asked to copy-edit such utterances as Justin Timberlake lyrics ("When you cheated girl/ My heart bleeded girl") and to "circle the errors Paris Hilton made blogging about her new shoe collection. (Hint: there are at least three!)" Or try the Monitor's tougher quiz at http://bit.ly/CSMgrammarquiz.

There's grammar-oriented fiction, and links to retail opportunities such as "Punctuation Saves Lives" T-shirts. These demonstrate their point with two sentences, one with a comma and the other not: "Let's eat grandma" versus "Let's eat, grandma." (It's available on a fridge magnet for those who prefer to keep jokes about intrafamilial cannibalism private.)

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