I love this song, but perhaps I’ve listened to it too much, because….
It’s stuck in my head. For days now. Only the first line. And I believe it’s grammatically incorrect.
I don’t think I can legally quote the line in my blog without the publishers coming after me. I tried researching this bit, but even if I give full credit to the artists, writers, publishers, and their mothers, I’m still not sure I can type the line into my blog for discussion.
So look it up. Done? Okay. It’s grammatically incorrect…right? The sentence has terrific rhythm, but it’s contradictory, right? I’ve had this conversation with my daughter and she sees my point, but she really doesn’t care. “Take it up with Lizzo, mom. I’m busy.”
I’m fascinated by the songwriting/studio process. Did Lizzo and the other songwriters write the lyrics first, or did some of them spring organically? What about that first line? Did they have any discussions about the ambiguous grammar? What was that conversation like?
Song stuck in my head, I brought this conundrum up with my writer’s group, asking if I can do this in my own work. I received a resounding no. And, “Can we move on now? This is off-topic, Annabelle, and not the first time you’ve asked the question. The answer is still the same.”
This bothers me. I don’t see why I can’t use improper grammar, or drop words, or use too many, or make words up. I want to play with words too. Especially if it’s dialog. My editor always fixes my stuff, but what if I don’t want it fixed? What if I want sklake to be a word. This is a word I’ve used for years in real life for when we apply tons of sunblock or lotion. We sklake it on. Another example would be snoodled-up. A rif on snuggle and canoodle. Come on. The word gruel is now a part of our lexicon. Check it out….from Mean Girls.
“People don’t know what you’re talking about, Annabelle. We’ve been over this. Stop fighting me. In print, in books, it appears to be a typo, not your own weird words.”
“What about odd, nonsensical be-bops, and boop doop a doop, woop scooba di do, aye yi, yippie ki yi yay stuff. Can I use that?”
Long pause. “Sure.”
“It’s a boat of different color, right?”
“You’re mixing metaphors again, Annabelle.”
She secretly loves me. It’s buried deep.