It's a song that's both incredibly catchy and educational so here are the key grammar jokes in Weird Al's "Word Crimes." Weird Al Yankovic has been spoofing popular hits for over four decades now, and first rose to fame based on his song "Eat It," a parody of Michael Jackson's s "Beat It." The combination of the song and music video - a spot-on spoof of "Beat It" - helped propel it to success. Other popular Weird Al songs include "Smells Like Nirvana," "Headline News" - based on the Crash Test Dummies 1993 song "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" - and "White & Nerdy," a spoof of Chamillionaire "Ridin."
Weird Al has appeared in a number of movies too, including UHF, The Naked Gun, and Rob Zombie's Halloween 2. The songwriter turned his attention to the hit single "Blurred Lines" in 2014, which was performed by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. (Ant-Man & The Wasp). "Blurred Lines" was a source of controversy despite its huge success, with the being perceived as incredibly sexist by some critics.
"Word Crimes" would sidestep those controversies by spoofing grammar instead, with Al listing the common issues that irritate him. The song and accompanying music video proved to be a success and reached number 39 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was also praised by teachers as a fun tool to help students avoid common errors, though some reviewers questioned the accuracy of some of Weird Al's complaints.
The song is best heard in combination with the video, which features a number of intentional misspellings like "moran" instead or "moron," or "lern" instead of "learn." He's also not fond of numbers being used in place of words either, like 2 being substituted for "to." He highlights the frequent misuse of "less" and "fewer," with the former referring to mass quantity such as someone having less money after a shopping spree, while fewer refers to a countable number, such as having fewer coins after shopping.
There's also the use of "I couldn't care less," which technically means the people does a care at least a little bit. His next issue is the mixing up of contractions like "it's" meaning it is, while "its" has no apostrophe and is used as a possessive pronoun. Other pet peeves include espresso being spelled with an "x," letters used in place of words during texting (B instead of Be), and the use of homophones, which are words that sound the same but have a different meaning, with the video using the example of "Lightening," meaning brighter and "Lightning," as in thunder and lightning.
In perhaps a pointed jab to Alanis Morissette's hit song "Ironic," he points out irony and coincidence are two very different things. One of the last points Weird Al makes in "Word Crimes" is the common incorrect use of the "literally" to place emphasis, and he ends with the intentional use of a split infinitive, singing "Try your best to not drool," which was added to see if anyone would notice and complain.