Friday, April 11, 2008

Musical Double Prepositions

I love it (and by "love it," I mean I kinda hate it a little bit) when people try too hard to be grammatically correct by introducing a grammar mistake that sounds snooty even though it's wrong. The classic is the personal pronoun subjective instead of the objective in a compound situation (She opened up a can on Rufus and I). But there's one that shows up, for some reason, in song. To avoid ending their sentence (or the lyrical phrase) with a preposition, they introduce the preposition earlier . . . but they still use it at the end anyway. Here are two that bug me:

John Mellencamp, "Small Town"

"Now I cannot forget from where it is that I come from." Most lyrics sheets will deny the song actually says that, but I've listened to it over and over . . . he definitely sings "from" twice. The preposition is so nice, he said it twice. He doesn't even say it in a snooty way, but it's still a bit silly. Then there's a better musician, even if he's not a superior grammarian . . .

Paul McCartney, "Live and Let Die"

"But in this ever changing world in which we live in . . . " Now that preposition is so nice, he said it thrice. But only one of them is extraneous. I guess you could say poetic license allows for the occasional scenario in which it's okay to use a double preposition in.

1 comment:

  1. I just make it easy on myself and go ahead and end the sentence with a prep. I know it's wrong, but what the heck.


I welcome all comments and arguments, especially if you cite your sources (no need to use MLA style or anything).