Thursday, March 4, 2010

March Forth on March 4th

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!

Today Is The Third Annual National Grammar Day

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]. I am a member of the Society and Marched Forth in 2008 and in 2009. There are some of you who would question my membership having read footnoteMaven.

This year I give you myths that well-meaning people argue about every day in offices around the world AKA:

I'm giving you the number 10 grammar myth here, but please read the other nine as they are all my favorites.

10. A run-on sentence is a really long sentence. Wrong! They can actually be quite short. In a run-on sentence, independent clauses are squished together without the help of punctuation or a conjunction. If you write I am happy I am glad* as one sentence without a semicolon, colon, or dash between the two independent clauses, it's a run-on sentence even though it only has six words.

In a comment to A Baker's Dozen, I wrote:
My opinion is that commas and periods are highly overrated and often get in the way of a fine writer completing an exquisite thought as it is transferred to the page in one pure stream of consciousness emerging unmolested from the brain to the hand.
It was engineered to be long, but tell me, is this a run-on sentence?

Now go, enjoy National Grammar Day!


Anonymous GrannyPam said...

I want to dangle participles. I hope it is not to late to throw the cow over the fence some hay.

March 4, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...

Oh Pam,

Truly excellent!


March 4, 2010 at 3:02 PM  
Anonymous Donna said...


I love to split infinitives!

I would not consider your final comment to be a run-on sentence. It is true that it does not contain punctuation to separate the clauses, but...does it need any?

But you know me...I'm the anti-Hemingway. I write and write and write and write and write.


March 4, 2010 at 5:05 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Infinitives to go with your personality?

I'll see if we have a few more guesses before I render an opinion.


March 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger Greta Koehl said...

I want to use the passive voice (I know, that's style rather than grammar, but still....). Rome wasn't built in a day. And - just sayin' - sometimes you just need to spice things up. (That's an adverb. I think.)

My opinion - not a run-on. But then, if you are happy to be glad, that one isn't a run-on sentence, either, is it?

March 4, 2010 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger footnoteMaven said...


Your comment reminds me of Chile just after the shaking stopped.


March 4, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Sherry - Family Tree Writer said...

Aw, shucks, I was going to talk about "dangling some participles" but I see that comment is already "taken" so I'll just do what my editor says I'm really, really good at, "comma splices"...

March 5, 2010 at 10:06 AM  

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