Better late then never [SIC]: National Grammar Day | Bleader

Better late then never [SIC]: National Grammar Day



  • Brad Fults
I recently burned through a year's supply of adjectives in an attempt to express my disdain for Valentine's Day, so I'm not sure how precisely to mark my excitement about National Grammar Day, which was yesterday. ("March forth on March 4," says the official website, of course.) For you, though, I've got ideas:

- Check out the linguistic work we've done on the blog recently. Last week, Steve Bogira wondered about the many possible applications of the phrase "ideological migration," and I wondered—hey, somebody's gotta be the adult around here—if we should be spelling "lady parts" as one word or two. I was able to sucker no less a luminary than the University of Chicago Press's Carol Fisher Saller into offering an opinion—Merriam-Webster doesn't close "lady parts," so neither would she—which provoked dissent from a commenter with the handle Cunning Linguist. CL wrote: "Over time compounds that have become necessary to the lexicon get closed up. The progressive stylist jumping the gun on M-W proactively affirms this necessity. The decision you've arrived at, as evidenced by the headline, is an act of resistance. Follow Jezebel's lead, Reader. Don't separate the lady from her parts."

- A few months ago, National Punctuation Day brought Chicago both honor and shame. Is that related to "grammar"? As the sage once said, "Grammar is often a generic way of referring to any aspect of English that people object to," though I'm sure he meant "to which people object."

- Just kidding! It's totally OK to end sentences like that. Relatedly, last year ahead of Grammar Day, Baltimore Sun columnist John E. McIntyre suggested honoring the holiday by chilling the fuck out. He wrote: "[A]s always, don’t correct people’s grammar or pronunciation publicly. That’s rude. You’re allowed personal tastes and preferences, but harboring and feeding pet peeves is not healthy. Respect the dialects of English you don’t use yourself. Watch out for shibboleths; they’re everywhere, and they’ll trip you up."

- There's also the Alot.