Weird Al Yankovic’s latest single, “Word Crimes,” will be a hit among writers, editors, English teachers, and Internet users who make a habit of pointing out the poor grammar of other message board users. It humorously highlights common grammar mistakes that, in addition to leading to online mockery, might ruin the professional tone an individual was hoping to convey on his website.
“Word Crimes” parodies Robin Thicke’s hit song, “Blurred Lines,” adding a grammar lesson to the catchy beat, along with Weird Al’s usual humor. Here are some memorable lines.
You should know when
It’s “less” or it’s “fewer”
If you can count it, it’s “fewer”. If you can’t count it, it’s “less”. For example, apples can be counted. So one would write, “There are fewer apples in my basket than in yours.” But it is impossible to count water. So it would be written, “There is less water in my glass than in yours.” If a word cannot be made plural, use “less”. There is no plural for “time,” so one would write, “I had less time to complete this assignment.”
Say you got an “I,” “T”
Followed by apostrophe, “s”
Now what does that mean?
You would not use “it’s” in this case
As a possessive
It’s a contraction
“It’s” shortens the phrase, “it is.” So if a person says, “It’s five o’clock,” he is shortening the statemnt, “It is five o’clock.” In order to make “its” as a possessive, the apostrophe would be left out. For example, if someone no longer finds a movie entertaining, one might write, “That movie has lost its appeal.”
If you really wanna
Leave out that Oxford comma
The Oxford comma is the comma after the second to last word or phrase in a list before the “and” or the “or”. For example, if an individual includes an Oxford comma in the following sentence, it would look like this: “I went to the grocery store, bank, and pet store.” If you leave out the Oxford comma, you’d write it like this: “I went to the grocery store, bank and pet store.” It’s up to the writer whether to include an Oxford comma.
And listen when I tell you this
I hope you never use quotation marks for emphasis
Use italics or bold for emphasis. You could even underline a word or phrase. Using quotation marks could send the wrong message. “I ‘love’ my wife,” sounds sarcastic. Imagine using air quotes around “love” when saying it aloud. Writing, “I love my wife,” better emphasizes how much you love her.
These are just a few of the examples Weird Al uses in “Word Crimes.” Check out the full music video below:
Still not confident in your own grammar knowledge after Weird Al’s four-minute grammar lesson? Hire a professional content writing company to handle the job for you. At We Do Web Content, we use a two-stage editing process where we check for spelling and grammar, fact-check each piece, and optimize the content for performance in search engines.
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