UnNews:Grammy winners' songs used to teach grammar

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18 May 2007

Illiterate Urethra Aretha Franklin, author of "Respec"

NASHVILLE, TN - Instructors have found a new tool in teaching the correct use of the English language’s parts of speech: Grammy Award-winning pop songs! Selected from genres as diverse as country and western and rock and roll and from among artists as different as The Doors and Aretha Franklin, the songs offer counterexamples of how to use grammar properly.

Students learn how to speak and write by avoiding musiciansilliteracy,” explained Chad Atkins, president of the President’s Council on Illiteracy in America, the Rest of the World Be Damned.

In many cases, the musicians are almost as bad at using grammar correctly as President George W. Bush. "Rhythm and blues singerAretha Franklin used to spell her first name as ‘Urethra,’ thinking that her parents had named her for the canal through which urine passes from the bladder into the toilet bowl of one‘s choice and, in males, through which semen passes from the testicles into the stomach, the rectum, the vagina, toilet bowl, or mouth of one’s choice,” Atkins said.

Atkins explained. “Is there any wonder, then, that Franklin's song about respect used to include the lyrics, ‘R-E-S-P-E-C: find out what it means to me’?” "Her producer had to argue to convince her that there’s a “T” at the end of “respect,”" Atkins said. Franklin then tried to change the spelling to end the word with a 'K.' Her producer only got her to sing the correct spelling by plying her with crack. “Fortunately, the letter ‘T,’ like ‘C,’” rhymes with ‘me,’ or her song would have been ruined. "By the time the song was recorded and became a hit, she couldn't change it." "To this day, she sometimes sings it incorrectly in concerts --particularly, when she's sober."

Illiterate “poet” Jim Morrison

As another example of “musical illiteracy,” Atkins cites “Touch Me,” a song by The Doors' self-described "poet", Jim Morrison. “Jim was too strung out on drugs and alcohol to remember the difference between the objective and the nominative case of the first-person personal pronoun, if he ever knew the distinction al all.” Atkins said. “In ‘Touch Me,’ he croons,

  • I'm going to love you
  • 'Til the stars fall from the sky
  • For you and I.

He should have crooned, ‘For you and me.’”

Musical pop stars think they are better than everyone else, Atkins charged, and “above the laws of grammar. As a result, our kids are growing up grammatically challenged, not knowing their asses from their participles.”

Rap songs represent some of the worst offenders, he added. “They’re so bad even Little Richard refuses to listen to them, and Ozzie Osbourne makes his wife and daughters wear earplugs when listening to rap songs.”

“We don’t not, though,” his daughter Kelly told Unnews’ reporter Lotta Lies.

Osbourne agreed that rap song lyrics are not only examples of poor grammar but are also instances of bad taste. “The language in those fucking songs is fucking profane,” he declared. “Nobody in my fucking house listens to that fucking shit. It ought to be fucking outlawed.”


Lotta Lies "It’s “I” before “E” except in pop songs". Instant News, 22.3 seconds ago