I’m marching to the beat of the Strong Language drummer, with a new post about naughty-sounding brand names with innocent meanings. It may be the only post you’ll read today that has the tags appliances, beverages, pee, and smegma.
Also: March 4 is National Grammar Day, an occasion for remembering what grammar is and is not. (It’s not spelling and punctuation, for starters.) Here are some good places to start:
- “Do not aspire to be a grammar Nazi, and don’t indulge people who use the term. Nazis are not funny unless you are Jerry Seinfeld or Mel Brooks. You are not Jerry Seinfeld or Mel Brooks.” – John McIntyre, “Prepare Yourself for National Grammar Day”
- “On all other days, we read whatever we want. On National Grammar Day, we may read only from The Elements of Style.” – Dennis Baron, “Why Is National Grammar Day Different from All Other Days?”
- “In the spirit of Mr. Spock, I would encourage writers to boldly go where grammarians would keep them out.” – Roy Peter Clark at Poynter, “What Are Your Biggest Grammar Pet Peeves?”
- “The Grinch then replied: “I can help you, of course! / I have here a Rule-Book that you can enforce.” – Tom Freeman, “How the Grinch Stole Grammar”
- “We must face up to the unfaceuptoable.” – Arika Okrent at Mental Floss, “11 Best Uses of Bad Grammar on ‘The Simpsons’”
Under the capable leadership of Mark Allen, ace copy editor, I was one of the judges in this year’s National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest. (The job was my reward/penance for having won the contest last year.) I am pleased to report that we have selected our winners. Congratulations to first-place poet Adriana Cloud and all the other contestants! Enjoy their haiku, and don’t let any dangling modifiers hit you on your way out.