Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0: A Bibliophilic Valentine's Day


Every Wednesday, Editing for Grammarphobes 2.0 features handy tips to enhance all of our writing, from daily emails to articles to books. After all, everyone needs to write, right?

How did Valentine’s Day come about? No one really knows for certain.

The story I heard growing up was Valentine was a priest who served in Rome around the third century. When Emperor Claudius II decreed that single men made the best soldiers, far better than those with wives, he banned marriage among his troops. Valentine defied the decree and performed secret marriages for young lovers. When Claudius found out, Valentine was put to death. 

A riff on that story is that the imprisoned Valentine might have sent the very first valentine message to the jailor’s daughter with whom he became smitten and signed it “From your Valentine.” So much for a vow of chastity. However, this legend spread and became popular throughout England and France during the Middle Ages. 

I read a few articles that mentioned the pagan festival of Lupercalia, “a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus,” according to the History Channel’s post, “History of Valentine’s Day.” It seems this festival included a goat sacrifice, followed by priests slapping women and crop fields with said goat’s bloody hide to make them more fertile. 


I think I prefer the notion that February 14 was the beginning of the birds’ mating season, which the History Channel states added to the idea the day should be associated with romance.

Whatever the origin, I hope you spend the day with someone or something you love. 

Every year, more people share clever literary and grammar Valentines on the internet. Here are some of my favorites. 

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. xx

EFG Digest
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A professional writer/editor for almost 30 years, Karen Wojcik Berner's wide and varied experience includes such topics as grammar, blog content, book reviews, corporate communications, the arts, paint and coatings, real estate, the fire service, writing and literature, research, and publishing. An award-winning journalist, her work has appeared in several magazines, newspapers, and blogs, including the Chicago Tribune, Writer Unboxed, Women's Fiction Writers, Naperville Magazine, and Fresh Fiction. She also is the author of three contemporary women's fiction novels and is a member of the Chicago Writers’ Association. For more information on Karen, please visit www.karenberner.com.


Anonymous said…
Literary Valentines are fun! Happy Valentine's Day!

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