Thursday, March 4, 2010

National Grammar Day


Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It's not only a date, it's an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same! - Grammar Girl


Most of us know clumsy sentences when we hear or read them, but we don’t always know exactly why they are clumsy or possess the skills to fix them. Here's a sentence that needs a little work:

The network that this computer is able to connect to contains information that is privileged and confidential.

The clumsiness is caused by several common writing errors:

Unnecessary dependent clauses
Get rid of that is/which is, that are/which are clauses whenever possible.

Extraneous verb phrases
Delete verb phrases that don’t add meaning: is able to.

Subjects too far away from their verbs

Place subjects closer to their verbs: computer connects, network contains.

Weed out repetitious words: Confidential and privileged mean the same thing in this context.

Finally, tweak the wording so that the sentence flows:

This computer connects to a network containing confidential information.


Check out The Grammar Song! Find it here: The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.

Sources:, Grammar Girl, The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Whoops! I hit the wrong button before. Thank you for the post. I always need to brush up on my grammar issues.

  3. Happy Grammar Day!! Thanks for more awesome advice!! Love the cat pic!!

  4. Thanks for these tips; they're very useful! Readers get drawn into stories in part because of good, clean writing, and these are valuable ideas for creating that kind of writing.

  5. Christine: Thanks for stopping by! CCP's goal is to help you with those grammar issues. Hope to see you again!

    Elizabeth: Thanks for the tweet!

    CC: Thanks! Today is a holiday in Grammar World! LOL! Yeah, I'm debating about adding that cute pic to my sidebar!

    Margot:Thank you! There is quite a difference between the first sentence and the "polished" one! You're so right; "little" things make a big difference to readers!

  6. Happy Grammar Day. I have learned much from your blog. The photo of the cat is priceless.

  7. I always loved my Grammar and my Grandpa as well. Oh, wait-- I'm sorry. You said grammar.

    Okay, that was bad. But your information was excellent. It brought to light a mistake that I commonly make. I will try to be more observant in the future.

  8. Love ALL of these advices. And Happy Grammar day, Crystal!

    Marvin D Wilson

  9. In other words, KISS - keep it simple stupid? I can do that!

  10. Karen: Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm just as happy for you with your singing! We "happy dance" very well together!

    Mason: I'm so happy to hear you've gained something from my posts! As for the picture: yes, I decided that had to accompany the other kitty editors on my sidebar! LOL!

    Lee: Always a pleasure to see you stop by. Glad you found the information helpful.

    Marvin: Thank you Old Silly!

    Alex: There you go! You have a better understanding of a lot of this stuff than you think! :)

  11. Yeah! A whole day to celebrate the fact I am not a grammar queen. Woo-hoo!!!!

  12. Just excellent. I need to remember all these things. All the time. Thanks.

  13. I just saw this event and posted it. I knew it was something you'd enjoy!


  14. Wonderful post. I checked out the song and LOVED it! I'm going to tweet this!

  15. Thank you everyone! What a great Grammar Day it's been! Thanks for sharing the fun of the day with me.

  16. There's something for you at my blog :o)

  17. I came over here after reading Niki's post - congrats on your award! And happy (belated) Grammar Day!


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