The Grammar Rodeo: Committing “Word Crimes”

wordWe have already covered how crazy our language is and have even acknowledged common errors that make their way into our writing on occasion. I have even incorporated some music videos in there to help you remember. Well, here is a post dedicated to one song that covers all of it, or at least most of it.

weird-al-mandatory-funWeird Al, the king of parody, just released his new album Mandatory Fun. The first single was released on Tuesday entitled “Word Crimes,” which is a parody of the Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines.” In the song, Weird Al goes ultra-grammarian on our asses and hits us with a deluge of said word crimes. This is some serious stuff here. Weird Al educates us on when to use “less” and when to use “fewer,” and he even throws in some informative lyrics on apostrophes. He must have read some of my posts.



Ironically (he also addresses irony being misused), Weird Al is being destroyed online at the moment I am writing this, which is about 8 hours after the song was released. One lyric in the song says, “Try your best to not drool,” which is grammatically incorrect. As the website crushable points out, this is an example of a split infinitive. Surely the twitterverse will explode with this information. I will simply chalk it up to poetic license.

When you are an English major, English teacher, or even someone who has an abnormally large lexicon you open yourself up to criticism at the moment any little grammatical gaffe falls out of your mouth. Our language is ever changing and always in flux, so I am forgiving of a man who has given credence to being “white and nerdy.” Let’s just remember that we are the country that has made “bling” an actual word, so let’s not act all high and mighty.

It is a really catchy parody, like most of his previous hits. The best part of the video is the dancing punctuation marks. They really get down. Check out the video above, if you haven’t had the chance to watch it yet.

Melanie Figueroa

Melanie is the Editor-in-Chief at The Poetics Project. She has a masters in writing and book publishing from Portland State University and a passion for stories in all their forms. Her favorite book is The Bell Jar. You can follow Melanie on Twitter or Instagram @wellmelsbells.

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