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Weird Al Yankovic: My Hero

“Weird Al” Yankovic has been a hero of mine for more than 30 years. His ability to parody songs is greater than anyone else, and that goes all the way back to “My Bologna” in 1979 and his time on the Dr. Demento radio show on KMET-FM 94.7.

A week ago, released his 14th studio album, Mandatory Fun. I’d like to say he read my blog and got inspired to write a song based on it. I’d like to say that, but it’s not true.

The truth is, Yankovic parodies “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams), a song that spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 last year. His parody, entitled “Word Crimes,” criticizes today’s poor grammar and communication. And he points out some of the very things I’ve railed about (regular readers might recognize some of them).

Anyway, today, I devote this space to the genius of Yankovic. Here are his lyrics:

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


Okay, now here’s the deal:

I’ll try to educate ya

Gonna familiarize you with the nomenclature

You’ll learn the definitions

Of nouns and prepositions

Literacy’s your mission

And that’s why I think it’s a good time to learn some grammar

Now, did I stammer?

Work on that grammar

You should know when it’s less or it’s fewer

Like people who were never raised in a sewer

I hate these word crimes


Like “I could care less.”

That means you do care at least a little

Don’t be a moron!

You’d better slow down and use the right pronoun

Show the world you’re no clown

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

What’s a contraction?

Well, it’s the shortening of a word or group of words by omission of a sound or letter


Okay, now here’s some notes

Syntax you’re always mangling

No x in espresso

Your participle’s danglin’

But I don’t want your drama if you really wanna

Leave out that Oxford comma

Just keep in mind that B C R U are words not letters

Get it together use a spellchecker

You should never WR1T3 WORD5 U51N6 NUMB3RS unless you’re 7 or your name is Prince

I hate these word crimes


You really need a full-time proofreader you dumb mouth breather

Well you should hire some cunning linguist to help you distinguish what is proper English

Everybody wise up

One thing I ask of you

Time to learn your homophones is past due

Learn to diagram a sentence too

Always say “to whom;” don’t ever say “to who.”

And listen up when I tell you this

I hope you never use quotation marks for emphasis

You finished second grade I hope that you can tell if you’re doing good or doing well

Better figure out the difference

Irony is not coincidence

And I thought that you’d gotten it through your skull about what’s figurative and what’s literal

Oh, but just now you said you literally couldn’t get out of bed. What?

That really makes me want to literally smack a crowbar upside your stupid head!


I read your email

It’s quite apparent your grammar’s errant. You’re incoherent

Saw your blog post. It’s really fantastic (that was sarcastic) cause you write like a spastic

I hate these word crimes!


Your prose is dopey. Think you should only write in emojis

Oh you’re a lost cause

Go back to preschool, get out of the gene pool

Try your best to not drool.

Never mind, I give up. Really, I give up.


Until next time! Use the right words!


July 23, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] Literally — I agree. One definition of its root word, literal, is “free from exaggeration and embellishment.” I recently wrote about “Weird Al” Yankovic and his song “Word Crimes” in which literally is mentioned. Read it here. […]


    Pingback by Ten Words We Should Stop Using — And My Opinions on That « usingtherightwords | October 29, 2014 | Reply

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