The gramMARCH challenge is the brainchild of middle school teacher Heather Shotke, who has seen these abbreviated forms of language migrate from the screens of smartphones to the pages of her students' work product. She is shocked at the type of writing that comes across her desk – even in formal essay assignments.
“I am disappointed and appalled,” Shotke said. “Kids are using ‘text language’ in their academic work and they think it is acceptable because that is how they are communicating with their friends on social media. It worries me that they cannot differentiate between a formal, school assignment and a text to a friend.”
Shotke, a graduate of the Annenberg School of Communication at USC, is concerned that society has become too acceptant of this new-era shorthand. Students are not the only ones at fault. Adults too have adopted this lax method of prose. Through gramMARCH, Shotke is challenging the nation to slow down and think about what they are writing, so that thoughts and words are concise and given respect.
The gramMARCH challenge is designed to remind us to slow down and think about what we are writing for the month of March.
Pause. Ponder Prose.
“Anecdotally, it takes about 30 days for something to become a habit,” Shotke said. “So, if we can get people to accept the gramMARCH Challenge and write with proper grammar in all communications – including texts, tweets, Kiks, Instagram captions and status updates on Facebook – for the month of March, we may be able to make the shift back to intelligent communication."