Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
November 25th, 2004


Grammatical fallacy

I’ve heard too many people tell me “Happy Thanksgiving!” already. Maybe it’s just that they’ve heard this same greeting from everyone else they know. Or maybe they’re just too lazy to listen to the grammarians grumbling under their breath.

You see, “Happy Thanksgiving!” is a fragment. Most greetings are. But greetings like “Hello!” are more benign: they are interjections; nothing more, nothing less. What sets these “Happy…” thoughts apart is that they are not interjections.

“Thanksgiving” is a proper noun, and “Happy” is an adjective modifying that noun.

It’s a fragment. A fragment, I tell you! Run! Hide!

So I’d like to propose that from this Thanksgiving on, you will greet each other with “Give thanks happily!

The pronoun “you” is the understood subject (since this is a command); “give” is the verb, with the adverb “happily” modifying it; and the noun “thanks” is the direct object.

Similarly, you will replace all instances of “Merry Christmas” with “Marry Christmas!” (Hey, I was saying it had to be grammatically correct, not logically correct.)

I’ve already tried this on a few people, and they didn’t quite seem to greet this new greeting warmly. But trust me, it’s the Next Big Thing™.

Besides, the turkeys will thank you for it.

Reed-Kellogg sentence diagrams were created using SenDraw.


  1. MMMMMM....Turkey....