National Grammar Day is observed in the United States on March 4.
Designated in 2008, the National Grammar Day was established by Martha Brockenbrough, author of “Things That Make Us [Sic]” (2008) and founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.
Martha Brockenbrough is an American author of fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. Her first book, It Could Happen To You: Diary Of A Pregnancy and Beyond, was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing in 2002. She is the founder of National Grammar Day and The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG).
Brockenbrough was born in Seattle, Washington, and graduated in 1992 from Stanford University, where she studied Classics and English. She was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, the Stanford Daily.
Brockenbrough was editor of MSN.com and was an educational humor columnist for Encarta.com before its demise in 2009. She founded National Grammar Day in 2008.
Brockenbrough’s young adult novel The Game of Love and Death, published 2015, was a finalist for the 2015 Kirkus Prize,. The book was selected as one of the Top 10 Romances for Youth by the American Library Association’s publication, Booklist. It is also a nominee for YALSA’s Best Books For Young Adults in 2016. It was listed as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2015, and won the 2016 Washington State Book Awards in the category Books For Young Adults.
In spring 2016, The Discovery Channel published Brockenbrough’s Shark Week: Everything You Need to Know. Publishers Weekly recommended the book to young readers.
Prior to The Game of Love and Death, Brockenbrough wrote Devine Intervention, a Kirkus Reviews Top 100 Books for Teens selection in 2012, and was selected by the Kansas State Reading Circle. It also won a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association book award for 2016.
On March 4, we let our inner nerd out for National Grammar Day! The day was established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar. The day’s motto is: “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!” We take that imperative seriously, so this National Grammar Day, we are celebrating the idiosyncrasies of the English language by studying up on common grammar mistakes, proofreading our correspondence, and thanking our editors!
NATIONAL GRAMMAR DAY TIMELINE:
- 5th century B.C.
A form of grammar is used in Sanskrit but traditional grammar and the alphabetic system is developed much later by the early Greeks.
- 1st century B.C.
The Greeks Define Grammar
Dionysius Thrax defines grammar as a mode that allows a person to speak a language and its components in relation to each other.
Grammar undergoes a dramatic change after new theories are introduced, primarily by Noam Chomsky.
Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko, and Dmytro Lider create the platform Grammarly.
NATIONAL GRAMMAR DAY ACTIVITIES
- Learn a new grammar rule
Is there a particular grammar rule you always feel like you have to double-check? Use National Grammar Day as your excuse to finally memorize that pesky grammar rule! (One we are always looking up: lay versus lie! How to remember it: you lie down on the sofa, but you lay the book on the table!)
- Get out your red pen
Newspapers and magazines go through several rounds of copyedits, but mistakes nearly always make it through. Celebrate National Grammar Day by acknowledging that no one is perfect with grammar, even the professionals! Read through your favorite magazine or newspaper with your grammar antenna on and your red pen at the ready to catch any mistakes. And what to do when you find one? Nothing beyond a big red circle and a smile.
- Have a grammar party
Invite your friends over for grammar games! Play pin the apostrophe on the “it’s”; read out examples of the most hilarious grammar mistakes from the Internet; and stage a discussion on one of the greatest debates in the English language: the oxford comma, yay or nay?
WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL GRAMMAR DAY
- Grammar is useful
Grammar helps us be totally clear when sharing our thoughts. It’s the difference between inviting your mom to eat (“let’s eat, mom!”) and eating your mom (“let’s eat mom!”). It’s the difference between enjoying cooking and also enjoying your pets (“I enjoy cooking, my cat, and my dog”) and cooking your pets (“I enjoy cooking my cat and my dog”).
- Grammar is satisfying
Proofreading feels great. Finding a typo, misspelled word, or misused there, their, or they’re is incredibly satisfying. One might even call it day-making! Whether you’re reading over your own work, taking a red pen to a friend’s cover letter, or searching for an errant comma in The New York Times, knowing the rules of grammar and using them in everyday life scratches an itch that makes us feel great.
- Grammar makes us nostalgic
So many grammar rules are permanently embedded in our brains because we learned them as children! It’s fun to go over grammar rules and be reminded of the mnemonics, songs, and cartoons that originally taught us the rules as kids. From Schoolhouse Rock to Sesame Street, grammar gives us a lot of great memories.
Brockenbrough, Martha (June 1, 2012). Devine Intervention. Arthur A. Levine Books. ISBN 978-0545382137.
Brockenbrough, Martha (June 25, 2013). The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy. Arthur A. Levine. ISBN 978-0545244664.
Brockenbrough, Martha (April 28, 2015). The Game of Love and Death. Arthur A. Levine Books. ISBN 978-0545668347.
Brockenbrough, Martha (September 2, 2002). It Could Happen To You: Diary Of A Pregnancy and Beyond. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 978-0740726859.
Brockenbrough, Martha (October 14, 2008). Things That Make Us [Sic]. St. Martin’s Press. p. 272. ISBN 978-0312378080.
Brockenbrough, Martha (August 13, 2013). Finding Bigfoot. Feiwel & Friends. p. 160. ISBN 978-1250040909.
Brockenbrough, Martha; Discovery (May 17, 2016). Shark Week:Everything You Need to Know. Feiwel & Friends. p. 160. ISBN 978-1250097774.
Brockenbrough, Martha (September 5, 2017). Alexander Hamilton – Revolutionary. Feiwel & Friends. ISBN 978-1250123190.
Brockenbrough, Martha (November 13, 2018) Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump. Feiwel & Friends. ISBN 978-1250308030.