Sunday, May 24, 2009

Meetings with Deluxe Intransitive Vampires and Other Denizens of the Dictionary

We have a road cd that, among many other things, has several covers of the old, burlesque-y song "Fever."

Two things.

First of all, who in the world wrote this song? How do you come up with lines like "Now you've listened to my story / Here's the lesson I have made / Chicks were born to give you fever / Be it Fahrenheit or Centigrade"? Amazing.

Second: in I think the verse about Romeo and Juliet (not making this up), the final line of the verse is "thou giveth fever." Okay; amusingly faux-Shakespeare. More amusing: in the Michael Buble cover, he corrects the grammar. The -eth ending is third-person singular, and "thou," which is the subject of the verb and should govern its person and number, is the old *second*-person pronoun. So he sings the syntactically correct "thou givest fever." I was the only one laughing, but then that happens a lot.

The grammatically-aware must take our enjoyments where we can find them. See the great book "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves" for further on this point (as well as the book whose title is the inspiration for the title of this post). Oh, and also my all-time fave New York Times crossword puzzle clue: three letters, "Art today." The answer: "are."

1 Comments:

Blogger Jonathan said...

i had not noticed that. how clever of Buble...

8:08 PM  

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