For more than 30 years now, “Weird Al” Yankovic has been the king of spoofs and parodies, and with his new album, the wonderfully titled ‘Mandatory Fun‘ out today, he’s up to his old tricks with some new twists.
Yesterday, he dished out the video for ‘Tacky,’ a take-off on the massive Pharrell Williams hit ‘Happy.’ Today, Yankovic has unleashed another new video — this one for ‘Word Crimes.’
Based on Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines,’ a controversial hit last year that was slammed for its sexist tone and video (not to mention its borrowing of an old Marvin Gaye beat), ‘Word Crimes’ turns the focus to something equally appalling: the misuse and abuse of the English language.
“You learn the definition of nouns and prepositions / Literacy’s your mission / And that’s why I think it’s a good time to learn some grammar / Did I stammer? Work on that grammar,” Yankovic sings, making his point emphatically throughout.
The video (which you can watch above) is a fun cut-and-paste-style lyric clip that drives home his point — sorta like a lost episode of ‘Schoolhouse Rock,’ with Yankovic schooling us in pronouns, prepositions, contractions and punctuation. He even manages to use the word “nomenclature” in a song, for what we believe is the first time since the Posies did it in 1990.
So aside from the good-natured jab at Thicke’s big hit, we’re learning something too, and learning is always a good thing, especially in this age of text-driven shorthand, abbreviations and a general laziness about the glory of language. You go, Al!