Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Its Won More Grammer Post

I was reading an article written by my one time 'consultant', Professor Sanee. She has a fascination with using humour in counselling and therapy sessions. This particular article caught my eye because she picks apart a 'Weird Al' song. She also discusses her writing (which is pretty much what the article was about). How could I pass this up?

I asked if I could repost and she agreed on the 'proviso' (her word, not mine) I remind everyone her new book, "Giggle, Guffaw & Other Curious Words", is now in book stores. The book researches various word and phrase origins. It also identifies how certain archaic words fell into disuse.

Anyway, her abridged article on grammar is below.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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The humorist Al Yankovic recently penned a song describing the decline of proper grammar. You will note, the song is replete with both information and humour. In one of the first verses, he points out how the inability to conjugate results in mocking. This is especially true when you post your inability on social networks.

Is it not sad how social media is the catalyst for the inundation of 'grammar fools'? Simple words are suddenly lost from even the most basic nomenclature of written communication. It's enough to make a grown women cry. Particularly when editing students term papers.

Mr. Yankovic then uses the examples of words such as; be, see, are & you. He points out writing such as B, C, R & U is not only lazy and sloppy, but indicative of a lower intellect. If I might point out, the number 2 is also not a word. Unless you are utilizing it to indicate an amount of something.

In a similar vein, misusing a wrong can bring hours of entertainment to any 'Grammar Nazi'. Al points out the words 'its' and 'it's' differ in meaning. While one is possessive, the other is a contraction. A contraction is actually two words. The proper use should be apparent. As I continually tell my students, if you don't know, say it out loud. For example 'The dog wagged it's tail'. If you were to write it this way, you are saying the dog wagged it is tail. Does that makes sense to you?

I also appreciate how the song points to the incessant errant grammar found in almost every e-mail and blog post online. I was reading a blog not long ago and found this gem, "My wish is too B visiting london, Europe and it's surrounding countries this year." What sort of syntax is that? Hold my grammar pen! This sort of spastic writing gives me a migraine.

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Thanks again to Professor Sanee for letting me use a portion of her article. I love her writing style and how it's infused with humour. The rest of the article can found in the European magazine, 'A Writer's Right'. For anyone unfamiliar with the song she is referencing, I've included the video below.

Additional Questions:
What grammar errors drive you nuts?
What grammar errors have you had to work on?
Are you a 'Weird Al' Yankovic fan?
Have you read either of Sanee's books?

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Professor Sanee resides in Italy
and teaches the course 'the
Ethics of Humour' at I.M.A.
She's also author of the book,
"Why Isn't Anyone Laughing?"


  1. Such a funny video. They're both right - proper grammar is going down the toilet.

    1. At least you didn't say "Their both wright". LOL
      And yes, I agree too.

  2. Hi, Jeffrey!

    IMHO (oops!) In my humble opinion, "Word Crimes" is the greatest of all Weird Al songs and videos. It has a good beat and you can dance to it, and it is also loaded with useful information. It teaches as it entertains.

    Crimes committed against the English language certainly do bother me. The time saving shortcuts people have been taking on social media in recent years threaten to turn creative writing and genuine communication into lost arts.

    Thanks, Jeffrey!

    1. About the only time I use those shortcuts is when I make fun of the people who actually use them. Yes, they think I B a H8R. Which is true, a hater of poor grammar.

  3. I do want to cry when I see people's comments or statuses on social media. Did they not learn proper English?

    1. They seem to be learning short-cut English today. Sad, sad.

  4. Hi Jeffrey - interesting about getting a blog post or article correct ... I'm not sure where " It's enough to make a grown women cry. Particularly when editing students term papers." comes into it:

    What happened to 'a grown women cry.'? and the apostrophe for 'students' term papers.? (or student's ... if it's a single student?)

    Loved the video ... especially the dangling participle bit!

    Cheers Hilary

    1. I think her point was at the college level, that sort of writing should be done away with.
      As for grammatical error on her part, that's actually my fault. I wasn't able to cut and paste, I manually retyped it from the article in the magazine.
      Sorry about that. I should have gotten that correct. I don't generally do a lot of editing work on my blog posts.

  5. Word Crimes was great. There was also one that made fun of the way businesspeople talk. It's called "Mission Statement."

    We must all efficiently
    Operationalize our strategies
    Invest in world-class technology
    And leverage our core competencies
    In order to holistically administrate
    Exceptional synergy
    We'll set a brand trajectory
    Using management's philosophy
    Advance our market share vis-à-vis
    Our proven methodology
    With strong commitment to quality
    Effectively enhancing corporate synergy
    Transitioning our company
    By awareness of functionality
    Promoting viability...

    1. Yes, that was an interesting video. I never cared much for the song, but the video was really cool how he did it.

  6. Love Weird Al, although he doesn't like to be called "Weird" anymore.

    I usually have grammar issues with certain words that are spelled differently from their phonetic pronunciation. Also have problems with punctuation sometimes as well.

    However, being a hi skoll gradijate that I are, its a lot more better to write pourly fo the blog woild that it is for da real word.

    Father Nature's Corner

    1. Maybe he doesn't, but that's the name I'm most familiar with. Professor Sanee too, it would seem.

  7. Hi Jeffrey.

    I'm glad you could share part of her article. The video helped me, (smile.

  8. Okay, I seemed to have lost the end parenthesis. It should be (smile).

    1. Glad you found the article informative.
      I wish editing post replies was easier.