Weird Al Yankovic’s song “Word Crimes” combines grammar with music, and it’s fun to listen to.

But linguists are pointing out that these word crimes are not so felonious after all.

Linguist Daniel Midgley continues the investigation on this episode of Talk the Talk.


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Promo with Damian Smith


Show notes

Blogger fired from language school over ‘homophonia’
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/58236366-90/says-english-homophones-language.html.csp

Was someone really fired for talking about a ‘pedagogical approach’? The story is out there, but I have doubts.
http://www.comedycorner.org/89.html

Who or whom?
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/who-or-whom

Let’s point out that the popularity of some who/whom constructions has reversed.

Yes, some people use quotation marks for “emphasis”. Here’s the “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks
http://www.unnecessaryquotes.com

But really, no one has trouble with the ambiguity of using punctuation marks for more than one thing.
http://alt-usage-english.org/quotes_for_emphasis.html

Grammar Girl explains why it’s okay to say you’re “doing good.”
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/good-versus-well

Tracy Morgan on 30 Rock: “Superman does good — you’re doing well!”
http://youtu.be/LoE8ZgzaX7A

Why Saying ‘I’m Good’ Is Correct, And Anyone Who Says Otherwise Is A Fool
http://www.businessinsider.com.au/how-are-you-im-good-is-acceptable-reply-2014-2

The pupil said, “Oh, I’m doing good!” The teacher said, “You shouldn’t say that — you should say, ‘I am doing well,’ ” to which the student replied, “Oh, no. I ain’t doing that good!”
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=P4UYAQAAIAAJ&q=%22i%27m+doing+good%22&dq=%22i%27m+doing+good%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uzXbU9HUJJa58gWM9ICABA&redir_esc=y

Irony has had many definitions over the years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony

Bongo Bongo: Literally is okay as an intensifier
http://youtu.be/7C1CXxAE7J4

Grammar Girl again, on split infinitives.
http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/split-infinitives

“Weird Al” tweets: “If you thought I didn’t know that I ended “Word Crimes” with a split infinitive… you don’t give me nearly enough credit.”
https://twitter.com/alyankovic/status/490724455673372672

Spastic and “Word Crimes”
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=13552

“Weird Al” tweets: “If you thought I didn’t know that “spastic” is considered a highly offensive slur by some people… you’re right, I didn’t.  Deeply sorry.”
https://twitter.com/alyankovic/statuses/490724534513700864

David Shariatmadari: “Error is the engine of language change, and today’s mistake could be tomorrow’s vigorously defended norm.”
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/11/pronunciation-errors-english-language

Tweeps
http://www.merriam-webster.com/word-of-the-day/2014/07/29/

Twabstinence (plus a lot more)
http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/Twitter_Dictionary_Guide.asp

Tweetus Deletus!
http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/03/tesla-motors-inc-tsla-poked-fun-at-by-nissan/


Show tunes

‘Crime’ by Real Estate
from the album Atlas

‘Police and Thieves’ by the Clash
from the album The Clash