National Grammar Day

Did you know that March 4 was National Grammar Day? For people like me, this was a major event!

Please comment below about your pet grammar peeves, the funniest grammar mistakes you’ve seen, or the most embarrassing grammar mistakes you’ve made.

My personal pet grammar peeve is the dictionary having two definitions for literally that are diametric opposites! Definition #1 is “in a literal sense or manner: actually.” Definition #2 is “in effect: virtually.” Now, Webster’s Collegiate says, “Since some people take sense 2 to be the opposite of sense 1, it has been frequently criticized as a misuse. Instead, the use is pure hyperbole intended to gain emphasis, but it often appears in contexts where no additional emphasis is necessary.” Well, I think using the word literally for hyperbolic emphasis has been done to death, don’t you?

I get the biggest laughs out of dangling modifiers. Like “Walking to work, the eucalyptus trees reminded Nicole of a scene from a Brandilyn Collins novel.” I’ve read a lot of Brandilyn’s books, but I don’t recall any of them featuring eucalyptus trees that walked to work! And I get a kick out of finding misplaced modifiers, like: “Hugging the postman, Delilah ripped open the box containing her new novel.” How many arms would Delilah need to perform both of those actions at the same time?

I’m eager to see your comments. Please post about GRAMMAR this week, not punctuation or spelling. National Punctuation Day is in September. So save your punctuation-related posts for then!