Posted in Books, Music, Uncategorized

Word Crimes


Numbers never seemed to make as much sense as letters. My brother’s a math guy. I actually had a math teacher ask which one of us was adopted.

I do love to learn. Love writing.

Learning isn’t just brick and mortar-centered; learning is everywhere, if you choose to find it, or let it find you.

Weird Al” Yankovic’s latest release, Mandatory Fun (RCA Records) gives us 12 hilarious, unforgettable spoofs, altering Royals by Lorde to Foil for all you conspiracy lovers; Inactive instead of Radioactive by Imagine Dragons,and mixing-up Pharrell Williams’ Happy, oops, now it’s Tacky; and
adjusts those Robin Thicke infamous Blurred Lines to Word Crimes, becoming the supreme grammar Nazi.

Wow, “Weird Al” sure turned into a big dic, um, tionary.

I adore “Weird Al”, even now I’m singing Amish Paradise and know from there I’ll move on to Jurassic Park, then Angry White Boy Polka followed closely by eBay, Spam, Like A Surgeon, First World Problems, Canadian Idiot, and more.


1eng3Watching the video for Word Crimes by “Weird Al” reminded me of all the amazingly fun children’s literature out there, most of which teaches, even if it’s subtle, like adding veggies to mac’n’cheese or chicken nuggets.
If you’re trying to teach, make it fun. Authors like: Greg Tang, Lynne Truss, Cindy Neuschwander, Loreen Leedy, Amy Axelrod, Marilyn Burns, Ann McCallum, etc. explain math, grammar, and so much more in straightforward and amusing ways. For example, Don’t Dangle Your Participle by Vanita Oelschlager and Mike Desantis (Vanita Books; – turns out the title is a little misleading, but makes sense because it’s for children, it’s actually about grammar. A fun way to teach essential skills. If books like this had existed when I was in school I might have been tempted to pay more attention.
Maybe not, Charlie Brown’s teacher sounded exactly like mine, at least to me.


The best thing about children’s literature?1eng10
It gives a child joy, hope, understanding, life information, lessons, compassion, empathy, and so much more while traveling to Oz, Neverland, mysterious islands, finding treasure, finding friendship, battling mythical creatures, fighting pirates, or learning to be a wizard.

They can visit the past or the future, go to space, into the corners of their own house, garden, barnyard, or imagination.

Visit a chocolate factory, have a series of unfortunate events, have a terrible horrible day while it rains meatballs and pancakes.

Travel down a river, land a plane, save the world, save the environment, save the universe, or save Christmas while finally trying green eggs and ham.

Be King of all the Wild Things then visit a magical kingdom. All the while, learning.


“Weird Al” and all these authors clearly want to make money and write, but they have a point, when we learn something when we’re happy and having fun, it stays with us, in a positive way.

So have some mandatory fun; sometimes participles dangle, the world’s an imperfect place.



Very me

7 thoughts on “Word Crimes

  1. Great post! As an English teacher, I love every word and reference. One of my former students writes and illustrates childrens’ books. When I was a teenager, I wrote and illustrated a book about a runaway carousel horse. I wish I had kept it. I met Roald Dahl one day at Eddie Albert’s house,and it turned out to be an unusual experience.


    1. Thank you. I bet meeting Roald Dahl was an unusual experience, but, and I may be incorrect, I assume Eddie Albert was lovely.
      I know what you mean, I’ve written some things over the years I’d wished I’d kept as well. Perhaps you can recreate it.
      Thanks for dropping by, always nice to hear from you. 🙂


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