3/04/2008

This are Mr. Rewrite's favorite holiday

Yes, the headline is a joke.

Thanks to Veteran Newsman for reminding Mr. Rewrite that today is National Grammar Day. It's sponsored by an outfit called the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, the only group Mr. Rewrite can imagine embracing the acronym SPOGG. This has Mr. Rewrite thinking about starting the Organization Devoted to Dictionaries (ODD) or Making Instruction in Spelling a Special Priority for Every Living Lad (MISSPELL) or Getting English on an Even Keel (GEEK).

SPOGG is a product of Martha Brockenbrough, author of the column Grumpy Martha's Guide to Grammar and Usage on Microsoft's Encarta Web site. If you use this day to gently correct (yes, Mr. Rewrite will split an infinitive on National Grammar Day) others' grammar errors, as SPOGG recommends, note that you'll probably be the only one in your office. The "holiday" has attracted just a handful of media mentions.

Anyway, it seems like a dandy holiday if you can embrace the spirit without annoying the rest of the world.

Mr. Rewrite recommends checking out the group's Web site if only to see its list of the best language blogs out there (under "Our Blog Partners"). You won't see Mr. Rewrite on it. Sigh. He'll get there someday.

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Until the day he's listed alongside the great language bloggers, Mr. Rewrite will savor moments such as a visit to his blog by Lynn Gaertner-Johnston, author of BusinessWritingBlog.com, a favorite listed at right. She offers this feedback on Mr. Rewrite's rant against incentivize:

"I am with you, Mr. Rewrite. I cringed when I read recently about a program to "automatize" a certain behavior among the employees in a company. When I looked up the word, I found the reason for my discomfort. "Automatize" means "to make automatic" or "to turn into an automaton." The "ize" words do make language sound robotic."

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Mr. Rewrite's excitement about National Grammar Day caused him to forget this week's list of the Most Misspelled Names in the News. It's pretty much the same. Going into today's primaries, Barack (not Barak) Obama still led with 692 misspellings on Google News. But he didn't lead by much. Hillary (not Hilary) Clinton was misspelled in 631 articles.

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