“Let’s eat grandpa”: How grammar and punctuation saves lives

March 4 is a pretty innocuous day. Unless it’s your birthday, anniversary, release from prison on parole day or something similar, you’re not really going to pay much attention to it.

But, in actuality, it’s a pretty vital day for linguaphiles. March 4 is, in America at least, National Grammar Day. And what a wonderful day that is!

There is nothing worse that people who get grammar wrong. Okay, that’s a lie. Murder is worse. Abuse of women and children is worse. Animal abuse is worse. Lindsay Lohan is worse, and so is allowing Rebecca Black to breed. But, apart from those things, there is nothing worse than incorrect grammar. If you can’t get “you’re” and “your” right, then your right to have offspring should be immediately revoked because you’re an idiot. (See what I did there? Oh, how I love good grammar.)

Using the right grammar and punctuation is vital to convey messages without any ambiguity and misunderstanding. If I said: “Let’s eat grandpa,” you might think I’m a little cannibalistic, or that I don’t really like my grandpa that much. But if I said: “Let’s eat, Grandpa,” there would be no doubt that I wanted to eat with my grandpa at that particular moment in time. You see? No ambiguity. Plus it would have saved my grandpa’s life – which, you know, he would be happy about.

So, on this day, two days after National Grammar Day, I urge you to take note of grammar. Make it your friend. Cuddle it, carress it, love it and hold it. Sing to it, listen to it, learn it and hug people who use it correctly. After all, it does save lives.

You might also want to check out National Grammar Day, a very cool piece on Technorati as well as one of my favourites, Stuff Journalists Like.

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