September 1: Author Perseverance Day
-After his novel is rejected 121 times, Robert M. Pirsing’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is finally accepted for publication.
What’s your favorite book? What makes it such a special book?
Tags: authors, books
September 2: Presidential Proverb Day
-Theodore Roosevelt delivers his famous line about speaking softly and carrying a big stick at the Minnesota State Fair.
What would you argue is the smartest thing ever said by a U.S. president?
Tags: proverbs, quotations
September 3: Postcard Poem Day
-William Wordsworth witnesses a morning scene in London that’s too beautiful not to capture in verse.
What are the most unforgettable scenes that you can remember witnessing? What words would you use to describe one of them?
Tags: poetry, sonnet, imagery, description
September 4: “Brand” New Words Day
-Google is officially incorporated in 1998 after originally being dubbed “BackRub.”
What currently capitalized trademarked brand name of a company, product, or service would you nominate for the Brand Name Hall of Fame?
Tags: brand names, generic trademarks
September 5: Two Voices Day
-Paul Fleishman, poet and popularizer of poems for two voices, is born.
Given poetic license, what two people, places, things, or idea would you like to see hold a conversation?
Tags: poetry, poems for two voices
September 6: Reduplicative Day
-Piggly Wiggly, the nation’s first self-service grocery store, opens in Memphis, Tennessee.
What is your favorite reduplicative?
Tags: reduplicative, tautonyms, rhyme
September 7: Words Chiseled in Granite Day
-New York City’s main post office opens, its facade emblazoned with an ancient and apt motto.
What words do you think are important enough to chisel in stone? What motto would you etch on the outside of your school or place of business?
September 8: International Literacy Day
-The United Nations declares war on illiteracy.
What can people do to celebrate and promote literacy?
Tags: reading, literacy
September 9: State Motto Day
-California, whose state motto is “Eureka” enters the Union in 1850.
What’s your idea for a new state motto?
September 10: Notorious Eponym Day
-Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling, a man whose name has become synonymous with treason, is convicted at the end of World War II.
Who is a person so notorious that his or her name is synonymous with despicable behavior?
September 11: Motivational Movie Monologue Day
-The Scottish defeat the English in The Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297.
How do you motivate people to do something they may not want to do?
Tags: monologue, speech
September 12: Croissants and Cappuccino Day
-The defeat of the Ottoman army in 1683 leads to two new menu items.
What food combination would you argue is most worth celebrating?
September 13: Literary Hoax Day
-A New York disc jockey pranks the New York Times.
What would be the opening line of your bestselling novel?
Tags: books, novels
September 14: Anthem Day
-Francis Scott Key pens a famous patriotic poem.
What would you argue would be a good alternative national anthem?
Tags: anthem, imagery, poetry, songs
September 15: Opposing Argument Day
-The USA Today, America’s McPaper, hits the newsstands in 1982.
What are the opposing arguments on an issue that you care about?
September 16: Eponymous Law Day
–The Peter Principle is published in 1969, establishing a new law for the business world to contemplate.
What are some general rules or principles that you have noticed based on your experience of living in the real world?
September Seventeenth: Univocalic Day
-A day to celebrate words and sentence containing a single vowel.
How many words can you list that contain only a single vowel, as in “September,” “bookworm,” or “Mississippi”?
Tags: vowels, univocalic
September 18: Lexicographer Day
-The birthday of Samuel Johnson, author of the first important English dictionary.
What are the key elements of writing a definition?
Tags: dictionary, definition, lexicography
September 19: Balloon Debate Day
-A sheep, a duck, and a rooster join forces in the world’s first hot air balloon flight.
Who would you argue is the most important or influential person in history?
Tags: debate, argumentation
September 20: Recitation Day
-Donald Hall, American poet and advocate for reading out loud, is born in 1928.
What is a passage of prose or a poem that you feel is worth reading out loud and is worth committing to memory?
Tags: recitation, reading, memorization
September 21: Compose a Novel First Line Day
-While correcting student essays, J.R.R. Tolkien stops to scribble the first line of what would become a fantasy classic.
What character and setting would you introduce in the first sentences of a story?
Tag: first lines, novel, books, authors, characters
September 22: Proclamation Day
-Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation changing forever the course of American history.
If you were president, what proclamation would you make?
September 23: Pathos Day
-Two dogs have their day in famous examples of emotionally charged rhetoric.
What is something specific that can be done today by you or by anyone to make the world a better place?
Tags: speech, rhetorical appeals, pathos
September 24: Vivid Verb Day
-F. Scott Fitzgerald, famous American author and advocate for vivid verbs, is born.
What would you say is the most important single part of speech in the English language, and why should writers pay careful attention to how they use it?
Tags: verbs, state-of-being verbs, action verbs, parts of speech, authors
September 25: Convocation Day
-Professor Jacob Neusner speaks to an audience of incoming college students, welcoming them and challenging them to a life of self-directed learning.
What is the purpose of education? What would you say to welcome, motivate, and inspire students to make the most of their learning in the coming year?
Tags: speech, forms, education
September 26: Debate Day
-John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon square off in the first ever televised presidential debate.
What are the best topics for a debate — timely or timeless topics that are controversial enough to spark a two-sided argument?
September 27: Capital Day
-As the Revolutionary War is raging, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, becomes the national’s capital for a single day.
What makes your hometown worthy of being designated “The Nation’s Capital for a Day”?
Tags: capitalization, usage
September 28: Spelling Reform Day
-Benjamin Franklin makes his case for reforming English spelling.
What do you see in your world that should be reformed, and how specifically would you propose to make it better?
Tag: spelling, orthography, alphabet
September 29: Mashup Day
-The Beatles and the Bard combine forces in the production of a powerful pop song.
What one word fits between the words ‘jelly’ and ‘bag’ to form two separate compound words? Jelly _____ Bag.
September 30: Mnemonic Device Day
-A day to celebrate a rhyme to remember the number of days in September.
What are some examples of important information that needs to be committed to memory?
Tags: mnemonics, acronyms, acrostics