There are a couple things about me you should understand before I give you my reaction to the latest Weird Al Yankovic video.
1. I have known how to read since the age of two, and thus the rules of proper writing and style have always been something with which I’ve surrounded myself. I don’t always follow them all perfectly, but I at least know how to avoid the most aggregious mistakes of spelling and grammar, because I’ve been growing up with them always in my consciousness.
2. My seventh-grade English teacher was also sort of a Teacher On Steroids. We never got into diagramming sentences or anything like that, but Mr. A insisted on scrupulously correct grammar and meticulously chosen words; the vocabulary lists he would give us for our spelling tests were real ten-dollar words, assigned to us not just to stretch us but to just plain teach a bunch of rural Connecticut twelve-year-olds that such words existed, so that if we needed to say exactly that, we could. “To be terrific, you must be specific,” he would often say in class.
3. Over 30 years of reading and writing, and being so anal about my own grammar and spelling and punctuation, have left me with a knee-jerk grudge against persistent communications failings in others. I may not say anything about it, but trust me, if you use l33t-speak or abbreviations or use the wrong word, I am most likely biting my tongue because it’s not hard to pick the right word don’t you know that “i could care less” means you care a lot come on THINK about it what the hell you went through the same school system i did do you not want to have people know what you’re talking about….
So all of that may explain why, after watching Weird Al’s latest video, I actually felt like I needed a cigarette.