Word Crimes

For those of you frustrated by terrible use of English, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s latest parody ‘Word Crimes‘ is  a delight. Set to the music of last year’s infectious hit ‘Blurred Lines‘, he rips into the abbreviated, sloppy expression too often spouted on social media, emails or texts.

Released 4 days ago, it’s already had 7 million views on Youtube. Brilliantly clever, among other things he lampoons those who use “literally” in totally the wrong manner, those that can’t distinguish between “it’s” and “its” and that “to who” is always wrong.

Literally is often abused
One thing I ask of you

Time to learn your homophones is past due
Learn to diagram a sentence too
Always say “to whom”
Don’t ever say “to who”
And listen up when I tell you this
I hope you never use quotation marks for emphasis
You finished second grade
I hope you can tell
If you’re ‘doing good’ or ‘doing well’
Better figure out the difference
Irony is not coincidence!
And I thought that you’d gotten it through your skull
What’s figurative and what’s literal
Oh but, just now, you said
You literally couldn’t get out of bed
That really makes me want to literally
Smack a crowbar upside your stupid head

Has anyone ever written a song about nomenclature, apostrophe or syntax?

It should be obligatory viewing for all. Sadly, however, those it was intended for will not get the joke, but the rest of us can have a chuckle.

He does raise a point – all of us probably are seeing standards dropping. We see 20-somethings come into the workplace who cannot spell or understand basic grammar. Our own handwriting is worsening. We just write less and less. Our writing (as I am doing now) is on a keyboard, or by tapping on (or swiping across) a  screen. If the communication gets across anyway, and spelling evolves over generations, does this matter?

I would like to think that the use of correct English is important – in business, communication, expression… and something to protect.

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One thought on “Word Crimes

  1. UPDATE: Weird Al has released 8 new music videos in 8 days (all parodies on existing songs) he has his frist #1 album ever, and the first comedy album to top the Billboard charts in the States since 1964, and the largest selling comedy album in 20 years.

    Quite an achievement – who says social media can’t drive real sales?

    A brilliant original idea, wonderfully executed.

    For more read http://consequenceofsound.net/2014/07/worst-to-best-new-weird-al-yankovic-music-videos/full-post/ and http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/chart-beat/6176745/weird-al-yankovic-billboard-200-mandatory-fun-number-one

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