Get ready for National Grammar Day

National Grammar Day is Wednesday (March 4).

A day set aside for promoting correct (or, at least, standard) English grammar and usage is the brainchild and pet cause of Martha Brockenbrough, who founded the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) and writes the SPOGG blog.

National Grammar Day could unleash our pedantic impulses. Indeed, some people might take metaphorical red pens in hand to delete errant apostrophes and chastise those who would say, "Please tell Mary or myself …" But we don’t have to become Miss Thistlebottom, Theodore M. Bernstein’s mythical promoter of outmoded and bogus rules of English usage. I would like writers to use lay and lie correctly and to get out a dictionary to be sure of the homonyms they use, but I refuse to get my unmentionables in a bunch over some deviations from the standard, especially in everyday speech.

Baltimore Sun editor and blog writer John McIntyre has some advice and guidance for National Grammar Day. McIntyre reminds us that "English has rules, but not as many as you think."

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.