National Grammar Day, March 4


I know I’m a month tardy in recognizing what should be a holy day among writers.  Perhaps the belated attention to it describes the way I feel about how many writers use the English language.

Not in writing per se: Most editors catch the flaws of their authors.  Hearing them speak can be something quiet different.  Makes me wish that the old military adage that no soldier should be offered a microphone sometimes be applied to writers.

Not that we don’t all make a mistake here and there. 

OBIT BUCKLEYI’ll bet even William F. Buckley chose the wrong word at least once, especially during cocktail hour on his sailing of the Atlantic.

But one should, at the very least, know the rules of grammar and convey them through their speech and the written word as faithfully as possible.

Why?  Because these are the only methods of handing down our language.  Language will certainly continue to evolve along with humanity, just as it has since man spoke his first word, right through the time of Shakespeare and beyond.

William Shakespeare - Text PortraitWords will morph, disappear and be born–common usage and all that. But grammar is like the computer that makes sense of the message we try to convey.

It may not necessarily make us clearer, but it shows respect for the words which are, after all, a reflection of our heritage.