Quick Facts About Grammar Day
The Grammar Police must be ecstatic. Apparently, there is one day of the year dedicated to the importance of the proper use of language. For about a decade now, March 4 has been celebrated as a day to champion grammar. Coincidentally, the date is also a pun on an imperative battle cry: March 4th = March Forth (and speak properly), or something like that.
Common Grammar Mistakes
What better way to highlight the celebration of Grammar Day that to point out common mistakes that modern English speakers take for granted. Notice that the word mistake commonly used for error. The latter pertains to something that was said or written incorrectly, while the former means a more complicated thing. Mistakes, as Quora defines it, are errors in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.
At the risk of sounding bookish and academic, here are some of the more common mistakes of today:
Image source: Daily Trojan
1. The Oxford Comma
Most of the time, the meaning of the phrase is easy enough to understand without having to use the neglected punctuation mark. The meaning of “My favorite fruits are Apple, Orange and Mango” is clear. There are (more than) a few cases, however, where it does sound weird without the little bugger. Imagine going to a costume party and seeing “the clowns, Andres Bonifacio and Jose Rizal”. Without the oxford comma separating the latter two, you’d think that Bonifacio and Rizal were the clowns. Funny.
Image source: English Leap
2. Pluralizing Collectives
Most non-native English speakers just resort to adding the letter S after a noun to make it plural. But what if the word already refers to more than one item? The words Equipment and Furniture are prime examples. Some people refer to the different devices used for work as Equipment, and all the couch and the rocking chair as Furniture. The many have been, err, many-fied (sic).
Image source: Oxbridge Editing
3. Literally Misused
Often dubbed a “millennial problem”, the misuse of the word literally has been around for quite a while now. Often times, the word has been incorrectly used for emphasis. I literally died from laughter, or I’m so hungry I could literally eat a whole elephant. First of all, you’re still alive, so no. And second, No you can’t even fit its trunk in your mouth.
The list goes on an on, so to cut things short, here’s a video of “Weird Al” Yankovic doing a similar rant to the tune of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines. Keep writing and speaking well (not good).
How to Celebrate Grammar Day
Are you one of the Grammar Nazis? If yes, gather your friends and celebrate #NationalGrammarDay by exerting extra effort to help students, friends and even families to learn about grammar today. Instead of criticizing them, teach them how to construct a flawless sentence. Give them tips and share them some links or books so they can improve their grammar.
Or, you can post your “grammar guidelines” in your social media timeline so your online friends can learn from it. Use the hashtags #NationalGrammarDay and #IAmAnEventurer to reach more audiences.