[lg policy] Who cares about National Grammar Day? Or is it whom?

Dennis Baron debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Thu Mar 4 00:46:02 UTC 2010

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Who cares about National Grammar Day? Or is it whom?

March 4 is National Grammar Day. According to its sponsor, the Society  
for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG, they call themselves, though  
between you and me, it's not the sort of acronym to roll trippingly  
off the tongue), National Grammar Day is "an imperative . . . . to  
speak well, write well, and help others do the same!"

The National Grammar Day website is full of imperatives about correct  
punctuation, pronoun use, and dangling participles. In the spirit of  
good sportsmanship, it points out an error in the Olympic theme song,  
"I believe," which contains the phrase the power of you and I (that's  
a common idiom in English, even in Canada, plus it rhymes with fly in  
the previous line of the song, but SPOGG would prefer that Olympians  
sing you and me). There's even a link to vote for your favorite  
Schoolhouse Rock grammar episode (hint: unless you prefer grammar  
rules that have nothing to do with the language people actually speak,  
don't pick "A Noun is the Name of a Person, Place, or Thing").

The National Grammar Day home page has even got its own grammar song  
available for download, though it's of less than Olympic quality, and  
the site also boasts a letter of support from former Pres. George W.  
Bush, apparently SPOGG's poster child for good grammar, who writes  
that "National Grammar Day . . . can help Americans prepare for the  
challenges ahead." To be sure, Bush wrote that before the grammar  
bubble burst. The growing number of grammarians filing first-time  
unemployment claims suggests that the former president was wrong about  
this, as he was about most things.

read the whole post on the Web of Language: http://bit.ly/weblan
Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321


read the Web of Language:

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