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Happy National Grammar Day and Words Matter Week

Words Matter Week 2013 - Cuttlefish posterI love wordy holidays. We spend time teaching our children that words matter, and how to read, write, and speak correctly (or at least I hope we do), and I think those home lessons are reinforced by national holidays that focus on these subjects. This week, we have two such holidays: National Grammar Day today, and Words Matter Week all week long. It’s a great opportunity to let your children know that you aren’t the only one who finds joy in beautifully written and spoken text!

The best way to teach them how to appreciate and use words correctly is give them books and let them read. Read and read and read and read . . .

But I digress. We are celebrating words and their usage, so I have a few resources, quotes, and links for you.

For Words Matter Week, you may visit WordsMatterWeek.com to find quotes about words, blog prompts, activity suggestions, a downloadable version of the cuttlefish poster, and more.

When ideas fail, words come in very handy.
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Vocabula Review is a consistent advocate for the written word. If you’ve never read an issue, you’re in for a treat!

There’s a great power in words, if you don’t hitch too many of them together.
–Josh Billings

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers

Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers

The Excellence in Literature Handbook for Writers is a very helpful resource for students, teachers, and anyone else who writes. It offers instruction on essay writing, as well as a useful guide to grammar, usage, and style. You can read more about it, see a complete table of contents, and purchase a copy at Everyday Education.

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
–Nathaniel Hawthorne

For National Grammar Day, a song:

National Grammar Day 2013- What do you want to do first? Split infinitives or diagram sentences?

 Click here to send a National Grammar Day greeting to your friends!

One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.
–Hart Crane

WinePress Publishing is offering a number of free National Grammar Day wallpapers, as well as other interesting word-related articles and cartoons.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink. –George Orwell

A bit of history: National Grammar Day was established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) and author of Things That Make Us (Sic): The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, the White House, and the World.

This year’s edition of National Grammar Day is hosted by Mignon Fogarty, the author of the New York Times best-selling book Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing and The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl (TM).

Grammar Made Easy: Writing a Step Above by Connie SchenkelbergIf you want to diagram sentences, Grammar Made Easy is the simplest way to learn how. It even comes with a couple of bonus items, including an audio workshop. Enjoy!

The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? –Ecclesiastes 6:11

More than you may have wanted to know about grammar (a definition from Wikipedia): In linguisticsgrammar is the set of structural rules that governs the composition of clausesphrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field include smorphologysyntax, and phonology, often complemented by phoneticssemantics, and pragmatics. Linguists do not normally use the term to refer to orthographical rules, although usage books and style guides that call themselves grammars may also refer to spelling and punctuation.

Speak properly, and in as few words as you can, but always plainly; for the end of speech is not ostentation, but to be understood.
–William Penn

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