The Grammar of the World – a poem for #GrammarDay

So, I recently learned that today, March 4th, is considered National Grammar Day. Why? Because, according to ACES: the Society for Editing:

it is a complete and grammatically correct sentence when written “March forth.” As in, “March forth and celebrate National Grammar Day.”

So, for this admittedly flimsy reason, and because of a recent social interaction I had been thinking about, and for kicks, I woke up yesterday and wrote a poem for the ACES annual Grammar Day poetry contest—hoping I might win and gain some attention for our journal and books.

I can’t remember the last time, or if I’ve ever, submitted a poem to a contest, and I wouldn’t say it’s my best poem ever, but so what. @eebyrne00, @marythaler, @Lisa—fellow editing geeks—you might like this.

The Grammar of the World

The grammar of the world
runs deep—deep as a grand river,
deeper than you’d think…

Take inter- (or intra-)
national relations, or
human relations, for example.

On Mastodon, @ntnsdnr writes:
“So ‘US-Mexico border:’ dash or
en-dash?” To which I reply in jest,

Suggest the tilde (~)
which also goes above the ñ
(pronounced “en-yay”)—

One of my favorite little
marks. The “US~Mexico border”
—why not? I tag @grammargirl,

Who cites Chicago: US-Canada
relations. “You’d use a hyphen
there.” Certainly not an em-dash,

Definitely not a pipe (|)—which is
not just a pipe—either tunneled
or erected, I think.

And yet, stickler that I otherwise
am, and despite a hyphenated
identity, I would dash across these

Borders, I would swim across
those waters… like a squiggly line,
like a wave of sound or light.


Very fun, @madrush

G-d, we need more fun in this crazy world :blush:

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Loved how this developed through the different kinds of punctuation. I didn’t expect to feel moved, but I did!

As a proofread I have to point out that @grammargirl is wrong, and it it neither an em-dash nor a hyphen, but an en-dash (the medium length), which implies relationships without subordination and numerical ranges among other things.

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