Today, March 4 is National Grammar Day, advocating proper usage of English in oral and written communication.
Sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, a group that espouses clean, correct usage of the English language. Knowing how to speak and write well is a prerequisite for success in business and personal areas. Communication has a habit of breaking down when words are misused. It’s amazing at the number of people who consider themselves well-educated, but fluff off the importance of proper usage.
Let’s face it–we can get pretty lazy about our language, choosing misplaced modifiers, overused clichés, and speaking in fragmented, rather than complete sentences.
Ask the average junior-high kid how many parts of speech there are, and you’ll probably either a shrug of shoulders or some outlandish number like “263.” Grammar is often overshadowed in school curricula in favor of
literature studies. [By the way, it’s 8.] When I was growing up, a favorite strategy of my horn-rimmed wearing English teacher was to have us diagram a sentences.
Called “the long division of English,” many a student has agonized over making sense out of the complex array of lines and angles. Not done as much these days, diagramming was the pictorial representation of a sentence. Officially known aw the Reed-Kellogg system, it was widely used throughout school classrooms in the 20th century, finally falling out of favor in the 1960’s.
Fortunately, plenty of people are taking a stand on encouraging proper speech as the norm and not the exception among the masses One of the main champions behind this trend is Martha Brockenbrough, founder of National Grammar Day, and also author of the book, Things That Make Us [Sic:] (St. Martin’s 2008) The book addresses common stumbling blocks, including clichés, jargon, and dropped participles. Underneath the layer of
humor and satire is a very helpful guide to language fundamentals.
If you love and respect this rich, yet complex language–take it back–and nail down those principles of good communication.
By the way, the sentence is:
I finished the dishes after Tim ate his doughnut, and we cleaned the kitchen.