Friday, December 13, 2013

I Knew "Your" Was Trouble


No, Taylor, I’m not OK. Yes, today is your birthday (happy 24th!), but I’m frustrated by something I spotted on a publicity image for “Our Song,” a track from your eponymous first album — something that isn’t too, um, swift.

In the poster, you’re leaning in ever so slightly. Look at those eyes — you have something to tell us. You want to talk. Sorry, Taylor, but I must pull a Kanye, bogarting the stage and saying my piece. Chalk up my odd behavior to an affinity for proper grammar.

Your problem, tailor-made for editors, occurs over your left shoulder.

Oh, your, why are you on board? I knew you were trouble when you walked in. (Trouble, trouble, trouble.) You’re the grammatical equivalent of nails on a chalkboard.

Remain after class, Taylor. Erase the chalked lyrics behind you, eliminating your and putting it from board to death. Then, a la Bart Simpson during opening credits, write down the following over and over, until you run out of room:

“Your” is a possessive pronoun. “You’re” is a contraction meaning “you are.”

Or write this:

“Your” and “you’re” are not interchangeable.

Your choice.

Taylor, your incorrect usage of a possessive pronoun possessed me to write today’s post. If I have upset you, feel free to treat me like a Jonas brother, a Twilight actor, a guy from my younger brother’s homeroom* or a member of a British boy band: Pen a song, hinting at my identity. You’ve already used “Red” and “Picture to Burn” as titles, so call your new song “Blogger Boy” or “Dear Owen” or something like that. I’m sure the lyrics will flow like tears when you write a song about When Write Is Wrong.


Apology accepted, Birthday Girl. Just promise me you won’t use your when you mean you’re. Like, ever.


* Musician John Mayer and my brother attended high school together and were in the same homeroom. When Mayer sings about running through the halls of his high school in “No Such Thing,” that’s my high school. When Mayer sings about busting down the double doors at his 10-year reunion, that’s my brother’s 10-year reunion.

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