Come Celebrate Grammar Day: Frustrating Grammar Fails and How to Fix Them!

Adam Binkley

By: Adam Binkley

Grammar Day? No, I’m not talking a day during which we binge watch Frasier (that’s Kelsey Grammer, with an er).

I’m talking about grammar, that crazy system that governs the way we use language to express ideas.

National Grammar Day drops every year on March 4th. As that is a Saturday, the Universities at Shady Grove is celebrating on Tuesday, March 6th—and you’re invited!

Maybe you are the type of person who is unsure as to what makes sentences sensible. You find spelling and grammar scarier prospects than skeletons and ghosts.  Misplaced modifiers create mayhem in your life and drive you to madness.

On the other hand, you might find commas as calming as chamomile tea.  You search for improper grammar on street signs like it is your own personal Waldo. Exclamation points actually excite you!

Maybe you fall somewhere in between these two extremes—a grammar goldilocks wanting to taste that just right porridge of punctuation.

No matter who you are, grammar day will have something for you. We’re offering up games, food, prizes, and workshops on grammar.

Now, I’m guessing there might be a skeptic or two out there who just can’t get excited about grammar. If that’s you, I humbly offer up these frustrating grammar fails (and how to fix them!)

  1. The comma splice. It’s sunny, wear sunscreen. What’s wrong with that? Well, comma splices occur when you use a comma to connect independent clauses. The simple fix for this one is to separate the information into two sentences. Do the sentences still make sense? It’s sunny. Wear sunscreen. You’ve turned your comma splice into something nice!
  2. Commonly misused words. There dog sleeps over their. Did reading this sentence make you a little bit (or a lot of) mad? If so, chances are commonly misused words already grind your grammar gears. To fix this one, slow down! Type that email out in a word processor. Read over your sentences a few extra times after drafting—and after reviewing a list of commonly misused words.
  3. Apostrophe catastrophes. Remember that “it’s” from my first example? That means “it is” or “it has.” Without an apostrophe “its” is possessive. This is one of those quirks of grammar, virtually every other time you see an apostrophe before an s it will indicate possession. Learn the rule for it’s and its. Then reserve the apostrophe for indicating possession. What about contractions, like “can’t”? Your best bet is to not even use them in academic writing!

Still hungry for more grammar (or just plain hungry)? Come see us at grammar day on March 6th and we’ll feed your mind and body.

Chances are there is a reader of this blog who has found a grammar mistake or two—come by and correct me!

Grammar Day 2018 Full Poster


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