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Monday, March 4, 2013

pop-we Founder Shares Resources to honor National Grammar Day

Today, March 4th, is National Grammar Day in the United States! I whole wholeheartedly agree with A.A. Patawaran's quote: “Grammar to a writer is to a mountaineer a good pair of hiking boots or, more precisely, to a deep-sea diver an oxygen tank." Wherever you reside in the world no language is simple to learn. However, those that are more closely related to your native language are certainly going to be easier to retain. Learning a completely different writing style can be a huge challenge, but does not necessarily make a language more difficult. However, grammar and sentence structure plays a much larger role in difficulty. That is why today is set aside to celebrate language and all its quirks and frustrations and fascinations.

To celebrate National Grammar Day, I'm taking this time to reveal to our population-we™ readers the contents of my grammar arsenal.

With introduction of social media like blogs, some believe that proper grammar in the 21st Century is declining. When I started blogging in 2011, the quandary started for me as a writer. On one hand, I could stay true to my journalistic foundation of following a standard usage style, which I learned in college. On the other hand, I could bend to the blogging masses and throw spelling and grammar out the window. Many bloggers have little respect for spelling or sentence structure as they keep their online journals. I've tried to stay true to my journalist foundation. In my quest to adopt proper English usage, I've often leaned on the following resources:

  • I bought the next manual in college. I attended school before Microsoft Word handled documentation for you. Switching between The American Psychological Association (APA) or Modern Language Association (MLA) depended on the professor. That is where A Pocket Style Manual came in handy.

  • "The little book" will help any writer. Required to purchase The Elements of Style in graduate school, it is a 86 page summation of accuracy and brevity in the use of English. 

  • The next resources were obtain at a National Seminars Group seminar. When I first started in my PR career I attended a few seminars. In 1997, I attended a business writing workshop and picked up a Business Writing and Grammar Skills Supplement, which I still rely on to this day. I also picked up a desk set of National Seminars Resource Library. Pictured above it includes: Webster's Dictionary, Webster's Computer Dictionary, Webster's Spelling Dictionary, Webster's Grammar Dictionary and Webster's Thesaurus. National Seminars Group is a Division of Rockhurst College Continuing Education Center.

  • When in a pinch, I often call up the Grammar Girl website at The site offers tips and grammar exercises to help you learn. For $1.99, a Grammar Girl App is available. The Grammar Girl show has been in the iTunes top 100 for three years. You can subscribe to a free newsletter, too.

  • Do you worry that you have to abandon grammar while you are composing comments on twitter? The solution to grammatically correct tweeting is this free app, 'twactions/140, It allows me to still use the proper word choice under the 140 word limit.

  • The last resource in my arsenal is google itself. I call up the web at and do a Google Search. Of course, I look for the most credible source.

I take the writer's craft quite seriously. Just as a professional basketball player has to practice their free throws or a singer has to practice singing before a performance. I've tried to stay true to my journalist foundation and have never looked back.

As you can tell, I just don't rely on one resource, but many. What is in your grammar arsenal? Please share a comment, Facebook or Tweet us.

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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