Sunday, 24 May 2009

Pedantry and politeness in pop

A lexicographer friend blogged recently about “collocational errors” in songs written by non-native speakers in Eurovision songs. It’s hard to put your finger on what’s wrong when someone sings about “longing for someone’s care”, and we can see what it means, though it does sound slightly odd.

But that hardly compares with Macca’s deathless line “in this ever-changing world in which we’re living in”. I don’t think it’s pedantic to find it pretty surprising that a native speaker could come out with that and think it was OK.

Stan Freburg did valuable work in correcting “Old” Man River. “He doesn’t plant potatoes, he doesn’t plant cotting, because those that plant(s) them are soon forgotting…”

And don’t get me started on factual inaccuracy! Katie Melua was at least 1.7 billion light years out in her song about the bicycles in Beijing. She actually had to go back and re-record the song.

Incorrect song lyrics are a menace. As Mr Tweedly points out, the home is a classroom. Come along chaps, speak properly! “I can’t any satisfaction.” “Slap my bitch up please.”

You’re quite welcome, I’m sure.

No comments:

Post a Comment