Established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG), National Grammar Day is celebrated (or possibly ignored) on 4th March.
At Accuracy Matters our hearts beat a little faster at this time of year. Following hot on the heels of World Book Day, we get to indulge in our passion for good grammar.
Will we fulfil a long-cherished dream (I am not making this up) of indulging in a day’s guerrilla proofreading? If knitters can take guerrilla action, so can we. The knitters, of course, are creating public art or making a political point (yarnstorming), but we’d be enhancing the urban environment in our own particular way and I know a few people who’d be pleased. I also know a few proofreaders who knit, but that’s not the point.
There’s a Facebook group called the Redundant Proofreaders’ Society which posts photographs of amusing (or alarming or heart-breaking, depending on your stomach for these things) errors on public notices. We could take the next step and set out with our dusters and chalk to correct those little blackboards that sit outside cafés offering ‘Panini’s’. Or we could spend this week tackling grocers’ apostrophes in markets up and down the country. Or we could dine out with our red pens and proofread the menus. My first stop would require a ladder and a pot of paint, but it would be so satisfying, 15 years on, to add the apostrophe to the Visitors Entrance at our local school.
I learn from the National Grammar Day website that Martha Brockenbrough is the author of Things That Make Us [Sic], a ‘snarkier American answer’ to Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots and Leaves. On reflection, if no one needs a proofreader this week, Accuracy Matters could settle down and have fun with Martha.
I should also add (it goes without saying) that, at Accuracy Matters, Every Day is Grammar Day.