Idea Bank: Haiku by Hashtag
The National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest lets copy editors tweet their love of grammar.
What’s the great idea? National Grammar Day Tweeted Haiku Contest
Who’s doing it? American Copy Editors Society
What’s involved? Every year on March 4—because “March forth” is a complete sentence—copy editors take to Twitter to tweet original grammar-related haikus with ACES’s Grammar Day hashtag. The winners receive a year of membership, free registration for an editorial boot camp, and editing-related books—but it’s “more about the glory of winning,” says ACES Executive Board Member and Contest Coordinator Mark Allen.
This year, London-based editor Tom Freeman took home the gold with a haiku capitalizing on the rules of subject-verb agreement.
“The haiku contest and National Grammar Day is all about celebrating language and awareness of how we use words and how we use the rules of grammar,” Allen says. “In the contest, we see a lot of people like to tweak those rules of grammar and have fun with it, so it reminds us that the rules are there to help us communicate and not to intimidate us.” While this is the sixth year of the contest, ACES began sponsoring it in 2014 as a way to increase the organization’s visibility and support those working in copy-editing roles. “It’s a matter of supporting the ACES mission of supporting people in their use of language,” Allen says.
What are people saying? ACES doesn’t take the contest too seriously, but “people definitely get into the spirit of it,” Allen says. Using the hashtag, participants often express their excitement for the contest on Twitter in the week before and contribute a couple hundred entries each year.
“It’s just one more way ACES is promoting awareness of language and the skills of copy editing,” he says.