Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bad English (or: when I read your lyrics)

This is my pitch for received grammar and syntax lessons.
Yes, yes, subcultures have viable and legitimate ways to express concepts.
Having said that, a single standard prevents groups from remaining isolated solitudes.

Mandarin and Cantonese are largely mutually incomprehensible.
Apparently their written forms are much more similar.

Without proper central instruction in English, kids are forced to learn from pop culture.
Sure, there is the occasional TV show writer that uses whom correctly. Sadly, usually even when the educational background of the character does not warrant it (Bones...).

And then... there are lyrics.
I understand one must sometimes shoehorn a word to fit the beat of a song.
However, often a simple rephrasing would have sufficed.

Haha! A site by pedants, for pedants. And I could have been the president! <:
Justin Timberlake's, "What goes around"
The Lyrics:
When you cheated girl, my heart bleeded girl.
It should be my heart "bled."

Gwen Stefani's, "Rich Girl"
The Lyrics:
If I was a rich girl.
That's wrong. It's supposed to be "If I WERE a rich girl".
Submitted by: G. Mag
D: Gwen can do whatever she wants... mmmm.

Kid Rock's, "All Summer Long"
The Lyrics:
"We didn't have no internet"
Double negative - yes he did have no internet, it was 1989!
D: I hear this at work. English has so many places to place a negative indicator.

The Killers', "When You Were Young"
The Lyrics:
"every once and a while"
it should be "every once IN a while"

Nickelback's, "Believe it Or Not"
The Lyrics:
Believe it or not everyone have things that they hide
everyone HAS things that they hide. It does that the entire song and annoys me SOOO much!!
D: this resembles confusion over whether a noun is collective or not.
Seagulls would be plural. A flock of seagulls is not.
(Note the weakness in my own writing - I tend to shift verb tenses too much!)

Savage Garden's, "Truly, Madly, Deeply"
The Lyrics:
I want to lay like this forever
Until the sky falls down on me
It's LIE, not LAY!
D: here is how I remember this one. Lay is something I do to somebody else, LOL!

English quirk of the day:

advice vs advise | accept vs except | affect vs effect | a lot/alot/allot
all ready vs already | all right vs alright | alone vs lonely
altogether vs all together | any vs some | apart vs a part
And the list goes on and on and on and...
P.S.: vs., not vs or v.s..

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