Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
The latest “Weird” Al Yankovich bit-o’-silly is making its way around the Innertoobs. I repost it here for those of you (yes, Mothe, I’m looking at you) who haven’t seen it elsewhere already. Enjoy!
I gather this is a parody of some other song (as most of Big Weird Al’s stuff is), but I don’t know the other song so that part is lost on me. Nonetheless, I find the piece amusing because by today’s sub-sea level standards of literacy ol’ Robbo is considered something of a Grammar Nazi and it is, if you will, musick to my ears.
It’s really rayther horrifying when you think about it. The basic rules touched on by Al are the sort of thing one was expected to master in grammar school just a generation ago. (Personally, I adored sentence diagrams.) These days? Cor lumme, stone the crows! I work with other lawyers, holders of graduate degrees who depend on their literacy for their livelihoods. Nevertheless, again and again and again I find myself having to detangle badly-written documents – everything from emails to court pleadings to peer-reviewed academic studies. Indeed, I’ve actually developed an informal office consulting practice, as several of my colleagues routinely send me drafts of their work product and ask me to look them over.
Well, that’s “Progress” for you.
Oh, and speaking of past generations and grammatical education for the masses, let me just point out that many, many of the grammar ditties from the Schoolhouse Rock series aired on Saturday mornings during Robbo’s misspent yoot are still tattooed to his brain. Let’s jump in the Wayback Machine and enjoy one of Robbo’s favorites, shall we?
UPDATE: Thinking further on on the subject of SHR, I’m reminded of a different, non-grammar-themed one that I don’t actually recall ever seeing when I was a kid, but which certainly seems apropos today:
UPDATE DEUX: Oh, I forgot to mention this bit o’vanity. The fellah in the “Conjunction Junction” song pronounces “either” and “neither” as “ee-ther” and “nee-ther“. One of my affectations developed a long time ago was to adopt the Hanovarian pronunciations of “eye-ther” and “nye-ther“. Pretentious? Moi?