Judging for the 2012 National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest was as difficult as any in the history of the event. Nearly 200 entries were submitted. The best way to get the full flavor of the event is to visit the Storify that contains them.
But save that for after the big announcement. Judges had a clear favorite:Being a dangler, Jane knew it would have to come out of the sentence
A simple joke on a dangling modifier, the writer was — no, wait. A simple joke on a dangling modifier, the poem was written by Larry Kunz (@larry_kunz), a technical writer in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., area. He’s a project manager and senior information developer for SDI Global Solutions, He teaches at Duke University and is a fellow with the Society for Technical Communication.
Second place struck a chord with all who value the simple hyphen:Tiny hyphen mark marries words, charms editor. Turns out to be lint.
It was written by @APvsChicago. The Twitter account and blog look at the differences between the Associate Press Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style, which mostly see eye-to-eye on the benefit of a properly placed hyphen.
Third place was by Bob Schroeder, who is new to Twitter at @BobSchroeder5. He is a reference librarian at Portland State University and said entering the contest was his first use of a Twitter hashtag.Tree in full word bloom falling across the blackboard sentence diagram
Fourth-place went to Michelle Baker of Martinsburg, W.V. Michelle is @corpwritingpro on Twitter. She describes herself as a teacher, scholar and business professional who offers corporate communication training.If I were to say I missed you, oh subjunctive, would that set the mood?
And our fifth-place winner comes from Ireland, showing that we’re happy to take the first word in National Grammar Day pretty loosely. Stan Carey (@StanCarey) describes himself as a scientist and writer turned editor and swivel-chair linguist. His blogs is Sentence First, and he also writes for the Macmillan Dictionary Blog and Visual Thesaurus.My word, your syntax stirs the imperative mood: Let’s coordinate
The judges would like to have chosen several dozen haiku for honorable mentions. I asked them to keep it to just five, so they came up with seven. These are the honorable mentions, in no particular order.After a sentence be like Obi-Wan and just hit the space bar once.
— Holly Ashworth, @ActuallyHollyFirst person: I love. Second person: You love me. Third person: Uh, oh.
— Rachel Cooper, @RachelCooper_NSDangling oddly I conjured absurdities With modifiers.
— Tom Freeman, @SnoozeInBriefLoose rhymes with moose and lose with booze, which I want to drink when they’re confused
— @shaunarumJudge me not grammar I have memorized your rules they shatter like glass
— Gerri Berendzen, @gerrribWanted: one pronoun, To take the place of he/she “They” need not apply
— Charlie MacFadyen, @csmacfPeople shouldn’t say “I could care less” when they mean “I could care fewer”
— Tom Freeman, @SnoozeInBrief
Thanks to our five-judge panel of word experts who chose our winner:
- Gordon Roberts, winner of last year’s contest, writer of technical documentation and short poems (though rarely at the same time), and language enthusiast
- Martha Brockenbrough, founder of National Grammar Day and the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, and author of “Things That Make Us (Sic).”
- Dawn McIlvain Stahl, editorial professional with 15 years’ experience and online editor and daily contributor for Copyediting.com
- Peter Sokolowski, a leader of ESL workshops, a pronouncer for spelling bees around the world, and editor at large at Merriam-Webster
- Grant Barrett, host of the nationally syndicated public radio program “A Way with Words,” and a lexicographer specializing in slang and new words