Songwriters – Should You Use Good Grammar When Writing Your Lyrics?

Using Good Grammar

Unless you have a good reason to stray from the typical rules of grammar, you probably shouldn’t. There are a few songs I can think of with grammar so bad it makes the lyrics hard to listen to.

One of those songs is “More Than Words,” by Extreme. The song opens with the line “Saying ‘I love you’ is not the words I want to hear from you.” If you had written that sentence in a high school paper, your English teacher would still be slapping you to this day… and rightfully so. Something like “‘I love you’ isn’t what I want to hear from you” would have made much more sense, from a grammatical standpoint, especially since it’s the opening line of the song and is setting a standard for what’s to come.

What comes after that doesn’t get much better. Another line within that verse states “More than words is all you have to do to make it real.” I’m not even sure how to fix that one. But you can see how it makes for a rough listen.

I don’t mean to beat up on Extreme, because I do love the song “More Than Words.” However, better grammar would have been a nice touch here, since there’s no reason for the poor grammar other than simply not knowing any better.

Using Bad Grammar

Reading what I just wrote may make you think it’s never okay to stay from the rules of grammar when writing a song, but that’s not the case at all.

As a singer, you’re essentially a character in your own story. Different characters speak in different ways. For example, in Amy Winehouse’s song, “Rehab,” she sings the line “I ain’t got the time and if my daddy thinks I’m fine.” Obviously, using the word “ain’t” isn’t considered grammatically appropriate, but in the context of this song, it’s fine. It fits the Amy Winehouse “character” in this song. She’s gritty and rough around the edges so of course she’d use the word “ain’t” when she doesn’t want to do something. It makes sense.

A similar thing happens in the title line of Winehouse’s song “Me and Mr. Jones.” Sure, from a grammatical standpoint, the line is incorrect. However, putting “me” first is a common mistake that Winehouse’s character would probably use. Plus, had she used correct grammar, the song would have been called “Mr. Jones and Me,” and Counting Crows already had a big hit with that line.

That’s not to say that Winehouse doesn’t have her share of grammatical issues during other lines in her songs, in the same way we saw in the Extreme example. However, in the instances we talked about here, it doesn’t bother me, because it’s just how her character would speak.

The same idea applies to lines like “I can’t get no satisfaction.” Sure, that line is a grammatical nightmare, but it’s okay because it fits Mick Jagger’s edgy character. We expect his character to speak that way. In the same way, I wouldn’t expect Eminem to use proper grammar in his songs.

For that reason, you shouldn’t be going through all of your songs trying to rewrite any lines you have that use made up words like “gonna,” or “wanna,” because people DO actually say those things in North American English. It’s okay. Most of the times lyrics are meant to sound conversational, as those “fake” words do. In a lot of cases it would actually sound weirder to hear “I’m going to” that it would to hear “I’m gonna” because that morphed phrase has become such common place. Singing is an exaggerated form of speech, so ideally you’d want to sing your ideas in the same way you would say your ideas.

Also, knowing the difference between “your,” “you’re,” “there,” “they’re,” “their,” etc., would be wise too, but since we only hear songs this one won’t even come up for you when writing lyrics, unless someone’s looking at your written out words. In that case it would be helpful to know when to use each of these, so you look like you know what you’re talking about.

Last Note

As you can see, bad grammar can occasionally be okay to use when you’re writing songs (but don’t tell your English teacher I told you that!). If you find yourself twisting the typical rules of grammar just to make one of your rhymes work, you’re using bad grammar for the wrong reason. If you’re doing it because it’s how your character would speak to someone, then it’s probably okay.



Source by Anthony Ceseri

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Differences Between a 5 Paragraph Essay and an Article

There are differences between a five paragraph essay and an article like there are similarities between the two. The differences range from the rationale for the write up to the style, to length and components of the both kinds of writing.

First is; an article is written for publication. The writer of an article writes having in mind that he or she is writing for a very large audience consisting of different types of people from all spheres of life.

An article is for the newspaper, the magazine, journals and reference books. This simply means that the article is for the educated elite of the society, and people who know. The writer therefore chooses his words carefully because whatever he or she writes will be not be kept secret but for all to see. The five paragraph essay on the other hand is for students and people in the academic setting.

It is the recommended style of writing for students and the best technique for organizing ideas especially in examinations.

In addition to that, an article is based on facts and truth unlike the five paragraph essay which is based on a personal point of view. The writer of an essay does that on the wealth of knowledge he or she has.

This entails that if he has a limited knowledge on an issue, it tells on the quality of the essay he finally remits. The article on the other is a product of research and a compilation of other peoples view on an issue and then written in the writer’s own style. Again to this fact is that while an article is objective because of the facts, the five paragraph essay is subjective and prejudiced.

Again a five paragraph essay is limited to just five paragraphs unlike the article which is backed up by facts and therefore can exceed five paragraphs. The length of an article is dependent on the facts and the supporting details of the facts. Some articles can cover pages of newspapers and magazines while some others may not be up to 300 words.



Source by John Halas

Performance Review Examples – A Technical Writer

Tired of looking through pages and pages of performance review examples in the Web and you still don’t know how to write up your own? Try this review example for a technical writer – there’s a short explanation for the example at the end.

English language proficiency (grammar, structure, syntax and semantics): 8 of 10. Writer is fluent in using the English language in all his articles. Needs only further training for advanced grammar like compound sentences.

Writing style and technique (voice, person, structure and organization): 9 of 10. Writer can write well in first-, second-, and third-person. He can “carry-on” a certain voice throughout an article without deviating from it, or change the mood or feel of an article when instructed to. Writer doesn’t outline his work before he writes, so there are some small organizational flaws.

Technical knowledge and experience (writing about technical topics): 7 of 10. Writer has no real experience in the field he writes in but compensates for that by reading some good material about his topic and his persuasive and impressive style of writing.

Work ethic and workplace behaviour (teamwork, attitude, and workplace influence): 9 of 10. Writer works well within his team and easily supervised. Can handle the pressure of deadlines well and boosts the morale of his team through his sociable manner and enthusiastic approach to his work. Direct superiors only ask that he volunteer more often.

If you noticed, in each of these items the employee’s strengths and weaknesses were mentioned. The strengths can be maintained and the identified weaknesses can then pinpoint his areas of opportunities so he can work on them. The scale of 1 to 10 also helps in that using such a scale can help measure the employee’s output and that means you can measure each and every employees’ output and set numerical goals for them to reach.



Source by Rebecca Kruger