National Grammar Day 2010 | A plea to Internet users

For National Grammar Day, an image of the George W. Bush's face surrounded by the slogan "I judge you when  you use poor grammar."

Image from Flickr.

Today is National Grammar Day, and in 2010 I think it is important to focus on digital communication. Although MySpace, Facebook and other social networks have created a world where more people than ever see the things we write, people seem to put less care into those things. Just for today, for National Grammar Day, let’s focus on making sure the things we write on the Internet for all to see are correct.

National Grammar Day web site

National Grammar Day — unlike many fabricated, unofficial holidays — is not built to market or promote a product or draw a profit for anyone. As I learned from NationalGrammarDay.com, March 4 is simply a celebration of language. You don’t need to visit a money lender or get cheap payday loans to celebrate language, thanks to free speech. That’s what that means, right?

Of course, you can purchase T-shirts from the web site, but they’re not National Grammar Day T-shirts, they’re the type of shirts a grammar nerd could don any day. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even figure out how to purchase said T-shirts, so clearly Grammar Girl, the founder of National Grammar Day, isn’t in this for the cash.

A sad story of a sad e-mail

I had an experience recently that I would like to share with you, dear Internet readers, on National Grammar Day. A student reporter at a community college wrote an e-mail to me asking about a local restaurant. A friend of mine tipped him off that I frequented the place, so he sent me a very short e-mail that contained one very broad inquiry about the place.

Putting aside this young gentleman’s lack of reporter skills, the thing that really bothered me was that the e-mail did not contain a single capital letter. He didn’t even capitalize his name. Honestly, I was insulted. A guy who apparently plans to be a professional writer couldn’t even take the time to make his one-paragraph e-mail to me grammatically correct.

A plea to you from me

The e-mail from the unfortunately budding journalist convinced me that this boy did not care about his job, had no respect for language or grammar and therefore had no respect for me. Here’s the point of the story: There are people like me out there. There are people who will write you off as not only an idiot but a careless, disrespectful idiot if you don’t bother using proper grammar in written communication.

So I beg you, just for National Grammar Day 2010, take care to make  your written communication grammatically correct. I know incorrect grammar in Facebook status messages will never go away, but just for today, edit your status before you post it for all to see. Hit that “spell check” button on your e-mail. National Grammar Day comes but once a year; let’s make it count. It’s more than six months until National Punctuation Day, so I promise not to ask again until then.

I leave you with this musical tribute to National Grammar Day, “March Forth.” (Get it? Because it’s March 4? Oh, just watch the video!)

Other recent posts by bryanh