What will you be doing on Friday? How will you have spent your day?
Do you have trouble understanding these questions? Then you should mark your calendar!
Language teachers, learners and other professionals across the United States are celebrating National Grammar Day on March 4.
The holiday celebrates the rules and best practices for the English language.
Martha Brockenbrough created National Grammar Day in 2008. Brockenbrough is the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, or SPOGG.
SPOGG operates a website where Brockenbrough writes about different language issues.
Brockenbrough also wrote a book of advice about grammar and language called “Things That Make Us [Sic.]”
Mignon Fogarty is organizing National Grammar Day celebrations this year. She wrote the book “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.”
Fogarty appeared on the NBC television program “Today” on Wednesday. She discussed new additions to the English language.
“People think that dictionaries choose [new] words because they’re proper,” she said. “But mostly they choose words because people use them.”
The American Dialect Society chooses a word every year that is new or used in a new way. The choice for 2015 Word of the Year was “they,” used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.
The Oxford English Dictionary adds new words after finding evidence people are using the words often. Researchers for the dictionary also look for evidence the words will be used well into the future.
Grammarly is a software application, or app, that can study writing and find grammar mistakes. In preparation for National Grammar Day, Grammarly studied the writing on the Twitter accounts of the 50 people with the most followers in the world.
Grammarly counted the average number of mistakes in the writing on all 50 twitter accounts. The app then listed the top 10 accounts with the fewest mistakes.
Comedian Conan O’Brien had the best grammar. He averaged 0.21 mistakes for every 100 words he wrote. Businessman Bill Gates had the second best grammar, with an average of 0.22 mistakes.
President Barack Obama came third with an average of 0.26 mistakes.
The National Grammar Day website has many resources for language learners. You can celebrate National Grammar Day by reading our weekly series “Everyday Grammar.”
I’m Pete Musto.
Pete Musto reported and wrote this story for VOA news. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Now it’s your turn. What is the most difficult part of English grammar for you? Does your country have a holiday for your native language? Let us know in the comments section or on our Facebook page.
Words in This Story
calendar – n. a document or chart that shows the days, weeks, and months of a year
practice(s) – n. something that is done often or regularly
gender-neutral – adj. not referring to either sex but only to people in general
software application – n. a computer program that performs one or more tasks
follower(s) – n. a person who likes and admires someone or something very much
comedian – n. a person who performs in front of an audience and makes people laugh by telling jokes or funny stories or by acting in a way that is funny