March 4th is National Grammar Day- feel free to unleash your inner pedant

Kim LaCapria - Author

Jun. 15 2013, Updated 9:58 p.m. ET

As the popularity of text messages and other degraded forms of communication rise, “grammar nazis” have really gotten the short end of the stick, especially on the internet.

Heaven forbid you gently correct someone with an abomination of a status message on Facebook. All of a sudden, you’re the bad guy, and no one ever steps in to defend the poor person who spoke up against the mass defiling of the English language. Well, if there’s any day you should be able to “march forth” with your grammar preservation efforts, it’s- well, March 4th.

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Maybe you’re one of the morons, and that’s okay, too. While we are judging (because we can, on Grammar Day!) take a few minutes out of your busy, language-raping schedule to brush up on your skillz. A quick visit to offers some gentle reminders that you can talk pretty someday, too. For instance, a lesson on ending sentences with prepositions argues that avoidance of the practice results in clumsy syntax, and should therefore not necessarily be judged:

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You can’t say, “What did you step?” You need to say, “What did you step on?” to make a grammatical sentence.

I can hear some of you gnashing your teeth right now, while you think, “What about saying, ‘On what did you step?’” But really, have you ever heard anyone talk that way? I’ve read long, contorted arguments from noted grammarians about why it’s OK to end sentences with prepositions when the preposition isn’t extraneous (1), but the driving point still seems to be, “Nobody in their right mind talks this way.” Yes, you could say, “On what did you step?” but not even grammarians think you should.

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If you want to use a Sharpie to rogue-correct some abused apostrophes, though, I won’t tell.


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