The grammar police have arrived.
“Weird Al” Yankovic is releasing a video from his new album “Mandatory Fun” every day this week,
and his latest is“Word Crimes,” a hilarious parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” that may as well have been called “Usage Nerds, Unite.”
In the text-heavy video, Yankovic will call you out for poor grammar,
Order the text:
“Everybody shut up"
A) “I hate these word crimes /
like I could care less /
that means you do care / at least a little.”
B) “If you can’t write in the proper way /
If you don’t know how to conjugate /
Maybe you flunked that class /
And maybe now you thought ....
that people mock you online,”
C) “It’s a good time 2 lern some grammer? /
Now did I stammer? /
Work on that grammar. /
You should know when /
it’s less or it’s fewer /
like people who were /
never raised in a sewer.”
D) "Say you’ve got an 'i t’ followed by apostrophe,
then an ’s', now what does that mean?
You would not use this in this case.
As a possessive, it’s a contraction.
What’s a contraction?
Well, it’s a shortening of a word
or group of words
by omission of a sound or letter."
E) “I’ll try to educate you/ Gonna familiarize you/ With the nomenclature/ You’ll learn the definitions/ Of nouns and prepositions/ Literacy’s your mission”,
F) “I hate these word crimes /
Like I could care less /
That means you do care, at least a little /
Don’t be a moron /
You better slow down /
And use the right pronoun /
Show the world you’re a no-clown,”
G) “Your participle is dangling”
H) “No X in espresso”
I) "You should never/
write words using numbers/
Unless you’re seven/
Or your name is Prince.”
J) “Never uses quotation marks for emphasis”
“Irony is not coincidence”
K ) “… you said/ you ‘literally couldn’t get out of bed.’/
That really makes me want to literally/
Smack a crowbar upside your stupid head!”
Watch “Word Crimes” at YOUTUBE.
It has already been recommended as good language teaching material. This indeed makes a lot of sense as the presentation of rules in the video resembles the negative approach to grammar teaching, a didactic technique focusing on grammar mistakes that has been around since the rise of normative grammars in the 18th century. Slate’s Forrest Wickman already examined some of Yankovic’s rules of usage and how they compare to actual usage and showed that despite Yankovic’s proscriptions against such ‘mistakes’, some of these usages seem to be here to stay.