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Weird Al's latest parody "Word Crimes" is an anthem for grammarians everywhere

July 17, 2014 - Andrea Johnson
Weird Al Yankovic has written "Word Crimes," an anthem for all the grammarians, long-suffering English teachers and copy editors out there who are frustrated by the many people who don't know the difference between "its" and "it's" or "there," "their," and "they're."

The song is a brilliant parody of Robin Thicke's hit song "Blurred Lines." I would say the parody is far better than the original, though the song may very well irritate those whose attempts at writing are hindered by run-on sentences, dangling participles and misspelled words. However, as Weird Al puts it, "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 find/that people mock you online."

I would have to acknowledge to Weird Al that I am by no means a perfect grammarian. I am an instinctual writer who just knows what looks right, probably because I spent most of my formative years with my nose buried in a book. I could not recite the rules of grammar, usage and mechanics in the way Weird Al lists them in this parody. Diagramming sentences made my eyes cross with boredom. On the other hand, I have spent the better part of my life either writing articles, correcting student papers or editing the writing of other people. Bad writing makes my head hurt and there is a lot of very bad writing in the world.

Weird Al's song can be found at


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Jul-20-14 12:56 AM



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