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  • Take the National Grammar Day Quiz

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    National Grammar Day rolls around again on March 4. It's a time for rejoicing, when everybody goes out and tells someone else what's wrong with their speech or writing. Wear good sneakers, and be prepared to run away really, really fast.

    Last year I worried whether anybody cared about National Grammar Day. I mean, I'm not observant, but there are plenty of people who believe there's only one true way to parse a sentence and who can't wait to celebrate this day of obligation by reading the dictionary (yes, there is only one dictionary, and if you're really orthodox you may only read it facing in the direction of Oxford, or maybe if you're American Orthodox, Springfield, Massachusetts), after which you may go out to photograph three public signs with errors in them and then post them on the internet.

    If you’re as passionate about National Grammar Day as I am, take time out from the solemn festivities to answer this special National Grammar Day quiz:

    1. Can National Grammar Day be observed in the passive voice?
    2. If I see a noun that’s not a person, place, or thing on National Grammar Day, am I supposed to pretend it doesn’t exist?
    3. On National Grammar Day, can I drunk dial Noam Chomsky? Does he text?
    4. Do we light candles on National Grammar Day, or do we light the wicks?
    5. Is National Grammar Day a two-day holiday if I’m bilingual?
    6. What number do I call to report a double negative?
    7. On National Grammar Day, do I get to finally drunk dial Mr. Stark, my old high school English teacher? The one who, when I got up the nerve to ask him what his first name was, said, “My first name is Mister.”
    8. I know a sentence is supposed to be a complete thought, but am I really ungrammatical if I start a thought and then my old English teacher butt dials me and when I get back to my sentence I’ve forgotten what I was going to say? 
    9. Can you end National Grammar Day with a preposition?
    10. If an infinitive splits in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, can you get extra credit?
    11. Who really cares about National Grammar Day? Or is it whom?

    T-shirt with the message,

    The first 25 correct responses to the National Grammar Day quiz will win a unique National Grammar Day one-paradigm-fits-all t-shirt jpeg. Just click the “write a response” link below to send in your answers. So you don’t forget, click before midnight tonight. Operators are standing by now. Offer void where prohibited.

alan@headbloom.com Mar 4, 2011 9:00 am
You humorously observed: National Grammar Day ... a time for rejoicing, when everybody goes out and tells someone else what's wrong with their speech or writing. Wear good sneakers, and be prepared to run away really, really fast. Let me add an example of what you get by bringing someone's grammar foibles to his/her attention: http://www.headbloom.com/index.php/resources/post/apostrophe_apoplexy/ Happy NGD, Alan
erin@FillingMyPatchOfSky.com Mar 4, 2011 1:32 pm
1. NGD has too few celebrators for us to be picky. Come one, come all! 2. No. Chase it away before it follows you home. 3. NGD is much too civilized for drunk dialing piffle. 4. We light a match. Then we may or may not light wicks. 5. True grammarians are never off the clock. 6. Your therapists number. 7. Whats with you and your drunk dialing obsession? 8. If you add an ellipsis you are good to go. Ellipses cure everything that ails you. 9. Yes, you can. But only if you ask properly for permission to do so (May I end National Grammar Day with a preposition?). 10. Yes. After you gather evidence of this phenomenon and prove it really happened. 11. Sacrilege!

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