National Grammar Day is celebrated every year on March 4, encouraging us all to pay more attention to our verbal and written grammar. The way we talk and write can affect the way others look at us, so it is important to present a positive image of ourselves. Language is present in every aspect of our lives, but there are still many common grammar mistakes that a lot of us are guilty of making. Let National Grammar Day be the perfect excuse to let your inner language nerd out, and brush up on your grammar.
History of National Grammar Day
Martha Brockenbrough, the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar and author of "Things That Make Us [Sic]", founded National Grammar Day in 2008. She used a play on words and grammar to create the day's very clever motto: “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!”
Brockenbrough stated in an interview that her motivation to create National Grammar Day was to have a fun and positive way in which to help her students with their grammar.
In its first year, National Grammar Day received the approval of President George W. Bush, who sent a letter commemorating the day.
Many people think that grammar is just a set of rules established for language that can be ignored, but the truth is that grammar is the language system that ensures we are all able to communicate effectively and understand each other. Grammar is one of the most important parts of communication because excluding or including certain grammatical elements can change the whole meaning of a sentence. Using a very well-known example, the two sentences "Let's eat, grandma!" and "Let's eat grandma!" have two completely different meanings. It is the comma, a grammatical element, that changes everything. So, not knowing proper grammar can cause a few awkward misunderstandings.
Some Common Grammar Mistakes
We have all been guilty at some point or other of making a grammar mistake. Here are some common ones to look out for and avoid in your own writing and communication:
1 - Your vs You're. Many people get these two confused. But the difference is that one means you own something "Your Backpack" and the other means you are something "You're fast".
2 - They're vs. Their vs. There. The first one means "They are", the second refers to something owned by a group "their dog", and the last references a point in space, or a place "There it is".
3 - Affect vs. Effect. To affect means to change something, and effect refers to the change itself, the result.
4 - Its vs. It's. Its is a possessive, referring to something that is owned. It's is a contraction of "it is".
National Grammar Day Activities
Grammar is all around us. Celebrating National Grammar Day doesn't have to be a chore. You can sit down with a good book, a magazine, or a newspaper, and improve your grammar and vocabulary while doing something fun.
If you have children or work with children take this opportunity to teach them that grammar is fun. There are many fun grammar activities available online to help you make learning and language into a fun game!