Graduation Goulash

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from Ms. Grammarian, Anita R. Holtz
Marketing Department

Stepping reverently to the cadence of Pomp and Circumstance? You’re one of millions donning cap and gown and graduating from a high school, college, or university. If it’s an institution of higher learning and you’re singular, you’re morphing from matriculant to alumna (female) or alumnus (male). If you’re plural, you’re collectively alumnae (female) or alumni (male or female graduates). For those etymology inquirers, all four “alum” words derive from Latin’s alere meaning “nourish.”

The Word “Graduate”

Now that you know what you’re designated, here’s another gob of grammar goulash, the word “graduate.”

Have you heard, “I’m graduating high school or college this year?” If so, woe upon your ears! And, woe upon the ears of radio listeners! On Sunday, March 3, 2013, in a broadcast on 1010 WINS News Radio, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg warned his audience that teenagers face stark realities if they become young parents –
“The children of teen parents are twice as likely not to graduate high school.”

The statistic may be correct, but the grammar gaffe is glaring. Schools graduate students; students graduate from schools. I graduated from Pennsylvania State University…not I graduated Pennsylvania State University.

Graduates from college

photo credit:Thompson Rivers via photopin cc

“Graduate,” a homograph, has dual pronunciation. The verb is pronounced “grajooate;” the noun is pronounced “grajooit.” If you’re a grammar aficionado, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips website (dirty meaning shortcuts, my friends) is a cornucopia of compiled tidbits to satisfy your queries about professional written communication.

Now that you’ve graduated from an institution, it’s time to pay respect to that all-important piece of paper, your diploma. Make it spiffy and protected with a Church Hill Classics diploma frame at

Other blogs of interest:

May 2013 Diplomas, Diploma Frames, and Their Omnificent College Seals

December 2012 Writing Tips for College Students from One Who Knows

September 2012 Starting College…A Little Scary for Some

January 2009 How’s the Proofing?

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