Allow me to dangle the winning haiku in front of you

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, @ActuallyHolly

First person: I love.
Second person: You love me.
Third person: Uh, oh.

Rachel Cooper, @RachelCooper_NS

Dangling oddly
I conjured absurdities
With modifiers.

— Tom Freeman, @SnoozeInBrief

Loose rhymes with moose and
lose with booze, which I want to
drink when they’re confused

— @shaunarum

Judge me not grammar
I have memorized your rules
they shatter like glass

— Gerri Berendzen, @gerrrib

Wanted: one pronoun,
To take the place of he/she
“They” need not apply

— Charlie MacFadyen, @csmacf

People 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:



3 thoughts on “Allow me to dangle the winning haiku in front of you

  1. Pingback: What’s all the fuss about Grammar Day? | Leading Technical Communication

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