Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Play It Again, Taylor

It was summer 1998; the sun was out, the car windows were rolled down, Dave Matthew’s “Crash into Me” was blasting on KROQ. I was singing along so passionately and shamelessly the guy in the car next to me must have wished he had ear plugs: “Crash into me. Whoa oh oh. Crash into meeeee. Baby...” I didn’t ever want the song to end. And, much to my pleasure, the DJ felt the same way; he did something I had never before experienced: he immediately played it again.

When I was little, my mom, sister and I saw Hairspray (the original one with Ricki Lake and Divine), and we loved it so much that when the movie ended, we simply stayed in our seats and watched the next showing.

And just about every time I get a scoop of ice cream and think I am ready to settle into watching my shows, I get up to get a second serving.

Variety isn’t always the spice of life; sometimes it’s repetition.

We can also experience this phenomenon when we are writing. It doesn’t happen often, but there are times when the word we want to use after another word is the same word. For example:

If I had had more ice cream, I would have gone back for a third serving.

I think that that scene in which Taylor Lautner rips off his shirt should be watched over and over and over again.

It’s fine to occasionally use two of the same words in a row, but do we have to insert a comma between them?


In the previous examples, we don’t. We only use the comma when we use two successive identical verbs and one of them ends the subject clause and the other begins the verb clause. For example:

The powers that those abs have, have captivated a nation.

The subject of that sentence is:

The powers that those abs have

And the verb is:

have captivated

Here's another example when we need a comma (I'll underline the subject and italicize the verb):

Unfortunately, however old Taylor is, is not old enough to make me not feel like a pedophile.

Note: I apologize for using awkward sentences for my examples. I couldn't think of better ones at the time to illustrate the point, and now I am too lazy to go back to change them.


Wendy Ramer said...

Hate to be the nitpicker here, but in the first example you gave, if the subject is:

The power that those abs have

then I think the verb should be:

has captivated (singular, since it is the power that has captivated a nation - not the abs)


Wendy Ramer said...

And after being such a know-it-all, I have to add that you are absolutely right...those abs have certainly captivated me!

Missed Periods said...

You are so right. Thank you for pointing that out. I just took the easy way out and changed power to powers. I'll have to think of something better later. Thanks again.

The Invisible Seductress said...

There was a blog post here? I missed it,, Taylor was chanting my name and throwing his underwear at me... Or was that just a dream? I'm confused, I'll come back later..

Boonsong said...

Great post.
Nice photo too, if you like that kind of thing - personally it's not for me but I still respect it as relevant.
I'm really enjoying your blog. Thanks for educating and entertaining me.

All the best, Boonsong

Georgina Dollface said...

That version of Hairspray was the BEST. Why did they bother making another one. Sheesh. I loved Debbie Harry in it too. - G

Mary Aalgaard said...

Your final example made me laugh out loud! Excellent, yes, excellent.

Samantha Bennett said...

I agree with Mary, fabulous examples! I'm with you on the second helping of ice cream. I also opted for a second helping of Eclipse. :)

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm trying not to read or comment on anything to do with THAT subject, but I'll make an exception for you because I knew there would be a lesson involved. And I learned, as always.

Janet Johnson said...

Funny examples. But so true! Sometimes the same word twice is necessary. Wish more people knew that.

And I'm with you on the ice-cream. :)

Jen said...

Wow... Taylor never looked so good... I'm mesmerized, it's hard to concentrate!!!

PS I love the song Crash Into Me and I'm one that sings it ridiculously loud while driving... watch out world!!

Rick said...

I just got busted by a coworker with this post up on my screen. I tried to explain that it's a grammar blog and not a Twilight fan site. He's now calling me "Team Taylor". I don't even know what that means.

Amber said...

Taylor Lautner's body is futuristic.

WalksLikeAnEgyptian said...


notesfromnadir said...

I'm just wondering about singing a song entitled "Crash Into Me" while driving!

Missed Periods said...


You make a valid point.

Jill Elizabeth said...

I wish my English teacher used pop culture references when explaining grammar. P.S. I, too, was guilty of listening to Crash on replay when it first came out.