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  • Grammar Gaffes in Popular Music. Is Grammar in Popular Music Deteriorating?
  • Bakkalár
  • In this dissertation, I hope to examine two aspects of grammar in pop music.
    First, I will discuss the perpetual and ever-so heated debate between the prescribers
    and the describers (which are two different views on grammar), and I will be
    reconciling these two view points in order to discuss the notion that grammar in
    popular music is getting worse with each passing year, a feeling that I have divined
    from various online texts and discussions with friends in the music business. It is my
    opinion that grammar is just as good as it was in popular music 20 years ago, and I
    hope to establish a usage trend in popular music through the last two decades or so by
    reviewing the lyrics of the top 5 billboard songs every year from 1988 to 2008 in an
    attempt to answer the question whether or not the grammar of lyricists is becoming
    worse; my thesis being that grammar is in fact not getting worse in popular music, but
    simply that there is a certain status quo which at times might sway from its epicenter
    but will more or less remain the same through the years. Second, I hope to connect
    some of those grammar gaffes with popular examples of grammar mistakes in the
    past, in an attempt to reach some sort of definitive conclusion regarding grammar in
    pop music today. I will be relying mostly on Bryan Garner’s recently published book
    Garner’s Modern American Usage for thoughts and opinions on various aspects of
    American English grammar.

  • 8.6.2009

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