Friday, July 25, 2014

Casual Friday: Weird Al Sings the Grammar Blues

Friday, July 25, 2014
Loretta reports:

Do incorrectly placed apostrophes drive you to distraction?  Do you wish severe penalties could be imposed on people who use quotation marks for emphasis?  Then this video is for you.

The illustration, of my own well-used copy of Fowler, offers a clue about my feelings. I’m even in the dwindling minority who refuse to stick an e on the end of chaperon and firmly believe that the whole comprises the parts.

Readers who receive our blog via email might see a rectangle, square, or nothing where the video ought to be.  To watch the video, please click on the title to this post.


Julie said...

I still use "catalogue" and "dialogue."

But the only thing missing from this song is the hated "between you and I." Even worse is "between s/he and I." Yes, I know nobody learns grammar anymore. Yes, I know that even very well-read people use that phrase. But it still makes me cringe.

Merrian said...

I find the song very problematic because of the way it equates people with disabilities with fools. In effect Weird Al is punching down from a place of privilege. I’m someone with a neurological condition that will end with me not swallowing, drooling and probably unable to talk and with my words getting disconnected long before then. I will be making lots of grammatical errors due to my condition FTW. The song and all the unreflective love it's getting tell me all I need to know about everyday microaggressions and the judgement that’s ahead of me.

I've also commented on the song post at AAR as well.

Boreades said...

Thanks for a reely grate viedo on spellink proper. I rite lodes of stuff for doctors, and they is alwaze complaynin I dunno how to talk proper (like wot they do) and complain weeve mist a commor or sumfin. I weel send em a link to this page.

Saffi_451 said...

"Do incorrectly placed apostrophes drive you to distraction?"

Very interesting coincidence - I discovered your site a few minutes ago because of that very mistake, made especially irritating because of the fact of its placement in the lede of a mini-article in, a professional website:

"According to Two Nerdy History Girl's Isabella Bradford, the truth about how women of the 1770s achieved their tall, voluminous hairstyles is even more interesting than the myths.


GSGreatEscaper said...

Weird Al is a genius! Thanks so much for this.

And Merrian, just because some can't that doesn't mean that those who just won't should get a free pass. Teachers who can't and won't learn grammar or teach proper spelling and usage (and sadly, there are now many) make me sick.

Yvonne Virgadamo said...

I'm sorry to hear that you have been subjected to such cruelty. My aunt and my sister-in-law had MS, so I know how cruel a condition like that can be. I have severe dyslexia and work very hard to assure that what I actually say is what I mean. Spelling and punctuation can be especially challenging to someone who is dealing with letters and words that float around and won't stay in order. That is one of the reasons why my irritation with poor grammar is more than petty. I have had to learn language by rote and any deviation leaves me to stumble along until there is enough context to pull meaning from. It's also why I dislike texting abbreviations so much. IT
That said, I love Weird Al so much. In part because he is hysterically funny and because he can address something like this with humor instead of screaming, which is something I frequently want to do.
Yours truly,

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