National Grammar Day is a U.S. holiday that comes every March 4th. Most people do not know and probably do not care about this holiday that pales in comparison to other late winter/ early spring festive holidays such as Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, and even Groundhog Day. However, when it comes to academic and professional success, writing and speaking well with polished grammar is a definite asset. After all, who is going to perceive you as an expert or take your content seriously if your writing or speech is undermined with mistakes that detract from your purpose?
What Is Grammar?
Grammar is simply the way a language is intended to be used (spoken and written) properly for accurate communication, expression, and understanding. Over time, grammar rules and guidelines sometimes change to reflect developments in language, or popular language usage at a particular time. Grammar guidelines dictate the proper ways to construct sentences and words when speaking or writing.
- Sentence structure, or the proper order and arrangement of words in a sentence; all sentences must have at least a subject and a verb, making them independent clauses that can stand alone as complete thoughts
- Parts of speech (noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, conjunction, preposition, and interjection)
- Word choice, or usage, which may or may not be considered a part of grammar, depending on whom you ask; word choice involves selecting the right word or form of a word to convey the intended meaning
- Spelling and punctuation are ancillary to grammar and essential elements of writing well, properly structuring sentences, and accurately being understood.; they are commonly considered one with grammar
Since the writing process should entail at least one or two rounds of rewriting, editing, and proofreading after the initial writing is done, conscientious writers or writers looking to improve their craft have opportunity to fix their grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes.
There are plenty of reliable online and print resources available to assist with the understanding of grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Here are a few available options: Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL) website; Grammar for Dummies by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; and the classic The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White. The MLA and APA formatting and style guides used for citing sources in academic writing are also useful for grammar, usage, and punctuation tips.
Remember, grammar can be a complicated subject, and its rules may vary from resource to resource. With writing in general, there is often more than one correct way of doing something, which tends to make the process intimidating and challenging. By arming yourself with the basic grammar rules, you will become a more confident writer and speaker.
National Grammar Day was founded in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, author of the grammar guide Things That Make Us [Sic] and founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.
Be sure to visit our other blog posts for simple grammar and writing tips that can improve your writing in an instant.
Learn more about All About Writing and owner Christa Riddle at www.allaboutwritingconsulting.com. Remember, with All About Writing, writing help is just a call or click away! Call us today to schedule your free consultation and get your project underway. We are here to assist with any phase of the project.
-by Christa Riddle