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Archive for March 10th, 2012

Grammar geeks, unite! 2nd Annual Grammar Bowl is underway in Phoenix

Please let me be the first to wish you a belated happy National Grammar Day. Celebrated every year since 2008 on March 4 (the only date that is also a sentence “March forth!”), National Grammar Day was founded by writer and former English teacher, Martha Brockenbrough.

“For me, the goal is to get people to think about language and why being careful with it matters,” she says in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “There was this idea out there that speaking well and knowing what words mean and how they work was somehow elite and untrustworthy. This is ridiculous. You’d never hear anyone complain that a doctor knows too darn much about brain surgery or their mechanic is too careful when it comes to fixing cars.”

Well, Brockenbrough isn’t the only one bringing attention to the intricacies of grammar. You’ve probably heard of college football bowl games and the Academic Decathlon, but did you know that Phoenix is home to the first Grammar Bowl in the country? That’s right  enterprising 8th and 9th grade grammarians began testing for the 2nd Annual EGUMMP Grammar Bowl in October, and regional competition began in February. The semifinals are coming up on March 24. Semifinalists complete a timed written test, with the 24 highest-scoring participants advancing to the finals. The live finals will be held at Grand Canyon University on April 14.

I can only imagine what goes in to prepping for this contest:

Identify the reflexive pronoun in the following passage…

Provide six examples of heteronyms…

Conjugate the following irregular verbs...

As a strong writer and dynamite editor, I know correct English and how to use it. But I’m no grammar geek. Nevertheless, I was very excited to hear about this event, as it’s high time grammar got its due  right up there next to all those science and math competitions! Although Arizona is currently the only state scheduled to host an EGUMMP Grammar Bowl in 2011/12, officials in several states have expressed interest in holding Bowls in their states. If you have a budding grammarian in your family, neighborhood, or classroom, contact the officials about starting a Grammar Bowl in your state.

If grammar’s not your strongest suit, you might want to spend some time perusing this Glossary of English Grammar Terms.

Happy parsing and diagramming!

Laura

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