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National what, now? A grammar pedant takes the cynical view

This Saturday 4th March marks National Grammar Day. Who knew? An American invention dating back to 2008, the day is fast gaining absolutely no recognition at all this side of The Pond, if my Google search is anything to go by.

Tipped over the edge by one too many rogue apostrophes, a woman called Martha Brockenbrough (of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar) selected a day to “promote awareness and understanding of proper grammar”. The rest would have been history, were it not for the fact that…no one cares.

See here’s the thing about grammar. As a tool for communicating the written word, it offers a lot of useful rules to help us formulate and structure our messages, ultimately making communication quicker and easier for all involved. Good grammar also makes things neater. From a copywriting perspective, it creates a better impression – particularly in the context of brands and websites, where image is so important, and attention spans so short. A sloppy typo here, a jumbled sentence there, can make the difference between a click-through and a closed window.

Good grammar matters. But an entire, preachy day, dedicated to the subject, every year? That’s just … annoying. There are enough grammar pedants out there as it is (I’m taking the day off). Besides, how exactly do we celebrate? Greetings cards emblazoned with cute pictures of commas and the words ‘Happy Grammar Day’, revellers flocking to costume parties dressed as adverbs and pronouns, I can see it now. Only - I can’t. Teach it in schools, shout about it from the rooftops if that’s your thing, but don’t go all National Holiday on me. It’ll never catch on.