Are you guilty of “Word Crimes”?


By: Scott Stein, VP of Client Services, Leonard & Finco Public Relations
Who would have ever thought that we’d turn to “Weird Al” Yankovic to send a message about grammar? But that’s exactly what the man who gave us “Eat It” nearly 25 years ago has done. His latest hit is “Word Crimes,” a parody of the Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines.”

For someone like me who spends a fair amount of time writing, proofreading and cringing when I see grammatical mistakes in print and in social media, Word Crimes offers a humorous lesson in the correct use of often misused words

He’s right on target with “less” or “fewer,” “I could care less” and you “literally couldn’t get out of bed.” And, of course, no discussion of grammar or parody song on the subject could go without mentioning “its” and “it’s.”

Gene Keleny, the errors & omissions columnist for The Independent writes that “Weird Al is a bit too weird for me,” but he adds that “if a single one of Weird Al’s fans is persuaded not to use ‘literally’ for emphasis, the world will be a better place.”

With Weird Al’s new album climbing all the way to #1, maybe the grammar criminals will start to pay more attention to what they’re putting in print and posting via social media. One can only hope.What do you think of “Weird Al”? Have you been guilty of any “Word Crimes”?