Weird Al proves why I always liked him
I have always been a fan of Weird Al Yankovic. Always appreciated his sense of humour but even more so his turn of phrase. His parodies of pop songs were in many if not most cases, more inspired writing than the original. Also liked that he never felt any need to be vulgar. Everything he ever put out was family-friendly and genuinely funny.
But now, my appreciation of his talent has not gone up a couple of more notches, with not one but two of his new parodies because he takes on two of my pet peeves, poor grammar, and corporate speak.
The grammar one first. I’m not a purist in this regard (as evidenced by the first sentence in this paragraph) because I see English as an alive, ever-evolving language. Because of this, what is acceptable is a moving target. But that’s not license for anything goes; because you should have to know the rules before you break them. They teach us in school, or they used to anyway, that you should never begin a sentence with the word “and”. You can of course, but when Hemmingway did it, he knew what he was doing. Too many people today don’t. And that is a huge difference.
We’re talking literacy, and this is where the brilliance and delight of Weird Al has most recently shone.
Coming from the generation that made “I can’t get no satisfaction” one of the most famous song lines of all time this may sound a touch hypocritical, but it’s not. Jaggar did it for effect. Too many of those breaking grammar rules today simply don’t know any better.
Which brings us to Blurred Lines, a song by Robin Thicke that rose to Number 1 last year. It’s somewhat misogynistic and while the feminists are upset about that, others take issue with its poor grammar.
Enter Weird Al, who takes this somewhat dark song and turns it into a triumph of fun for those of us who still have an appreciation for proper English.
Here’s Word Crimes, the most entertaining grammar lesson ever.
If you enjoyed this blog, come back in a day or two for my blog on his parody of an old Crosby Stills and Nash song in which he turns his focus to corporate speak.
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