Did you know that National Grammar Day and National Proofreading Day both fall in March? And there’s no need to wait until their observance days to celebrate them! Grammar and proofreading deserve to be celebrated all 365 days a year, especially in the fields of communication and technical writing.
National Grammar Day
National Grammar Day is celebrated on March 4th. It was founded in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, the author of Things That Make Us (Sic). She was also the founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG). The date was actually chosen because of this statement: “March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!”
Grammar is essential to understanding a language. It’s the groundwork that establishes consistency and structure for everyone involved in a conversation. Without grammar, a lot of what we say wouldn’t make much sense. It’s also needed whenever you want to learn a new language, as every language has its own grammatical rules.
There are plenty of ways you can celebrate the holiday, including:
- Sharing a grammar tip or fact on social media with the hashtag #NationalGrammarDay.
- Reading a book, blog, article, or any other of your favorite publication sources.
- Going through some of your past writing to see if you’re able to spot any grammatical errors (you can also see how you’ve improved over the years!)
- Listening to Word Crimes by Weird Al.
National Proofreading Day
National Proofreading Day is only a few days after National Grammar Day on March 8th. The holiday was created by Judy Beaver in 2011 to remember her mother, Flo, who loved to correct people; March 8th was her birthday!
Proper spelling, grammar, and formatting are all essential to published writing, which makes proofreading a must. Taking a few more minutes and slowly going through your work can help you catch all those little errors that may have previously flown under the radar. If you don’t feel confident about proofreading your own work (some aren’t), you can ask a friend or coworker to do it for you.
Remember, everyone makes mistakes—and that’s okay! That’s what proofreading is for.
Looking to celebrate National Proofreading Day? Try one of these activities:
- Take a few more minutes to proofread than you normally would have.
- Thank your friends and coworkers who regularly proofread your work.
- Visit the official National Proofreading Day website for resources, tips, and tricks.
The Importance of Grammar and Proofreading in Content and Technical Writing
Companies and individuals should never underestimate the importance of grammar and proofreading in their technical writing work. Grammar makes more of an impression than people realize, and poor writing skills can actually hurt your brand. Here are two reasons you’ll want to pay closer attention to both grammar and proofing going forward.
- Your Technical Writing Relies on Clearly Written Content
When it comes to technical writing, the work needs to be clear, concise, and informative. Spelling and grammatical errors can lead to serious problems for your customers, whether you produce instruction booklets for customers or training manuals for employees. Mistakes, even simple ones, can make it more difficult to understand what is being said. If a manual contains instructions on what to do in case of an emergency, and it’s rife with spelling and grammatical errors, the reader may spend more time trying to decipher what you meant to say than actually learning to fix the problem at hand.
In employee handbooks, grammatical errors can also lead to confusion for new hires. One mistake can alter the meaning of an instruction and could cause them to make minor or major mistakes in their own work, unbeknownst to them.
Following proper spelling and grammar helps ensure your writing is clear, to the point, and that it eradicates any confusion.
- Your Brand Relies on Clearly Written Content
Whether writing for a blog or for a manual, the content you publish reflects directly on your brand. Poorly written materials show that your brand doesn’t care for the details, and you may be bypassed in favor of the competition as a result. Taking the time to proofread your work shows your client audience that you are dedicated to getting it right and care about the work you’re producing. Well written content also makes it easier for your customers to understand what your brand represents and delivers.
How will you be celebrating National Grammar Day and National Proofreading Day? These skills will pay off for your own work as well as your brand, so make sure you’re always following grammatical rules and proofreading your work.
Feel like you don’t have the time to craft quality technical writing pieces? Or have you found that your current manuals are rife with errors? We can help. Reach out to us here.