I don’t want to be that person or anything, but I just found an error in Weird Al Yankovic‘s parody of ‘Blurred Lines‘ that was released today.
It’s called ‘Word Crimes’, and it’s basically a writer’s wet dream, because it calls out all the little errors that people make on the internet (and everywhere, really), that bother grammar-lovers like myself. You know, everything from misplaced apostrophes to dangling participles to the all-glorious Oxford comma. I enjoyed myself immensely watching it because seriously? A parody of a Robin Thicke song that also calls out common English-language mistakes? This must be heaven.
BUT. There’s a mistake in it! A real life word crime! And I noticed it all by myself, and all the blood rushed to my face because this is it. This is the moment I was born for, when I get to call out an error and not be the worst. (Or maybe I am the worst, but in a video where you claim that people saying they literally can’t get out of bed when what they really mean is that they’re tired makes you literally want to brain them with a crowbar, I think I’m within my rights to briefly pull on my Grammar Police hat.)
Anyway. It comes very near the end of the song, starting at 3:26, in the portion of the song that goes:
Did you catch it? I’m guessing probably not, because it’s one of those things like the misuse of the word ‘myriad’ that slips through the cracks a lot. (And chafes me every time.)
Oh you’re a lost cause
Go back to preschool
Get out of the gene pool
Try your best to not drool
It’s the phrase ‘to not drool’, which is something called a split infinitive, where an adverb is placed between the particle ‘to’ and the verb itself, which in this case is the word ‘drool’. It’s become marginally acceptable now because unfortunately, people do it ALL THE TIME (just like omitting the Oxford comma), but the proper way to phrase that thought would be ‘try your best not to drool’.
[Update: in my first version, the phrasing of the above paragraph incorrectly suggested that I wasn't a fan of the Oxford comma. I was suitably offended that anyone could think I was such a barbarian, and that section has been updated for clarity.]
Grammar Police shift ended, hat and matching suspenders removed. #sorrynotsorry, but i c ur misteak and Im not afrade 2 call it *~*~OUT~*~*.
(I am the worst.)