Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Thought I Knew You

Maybe it’s because there have only been three. Maybe it's because for that brief moment of time it felt like we had merged into one. Maybe it’s because when I get drunk I get emotional, but for some reason, I feel a special connection to the artists whose songs I have sung karaoke to.

Karaoke definitely had the biggest effect on my relationship with Meat Loaf. I have always loved Pat Benetar and the B-52’s, but I haven’t always been a Meat Loaf fan. But you know how karaoke goes; my friend secretly signed me up to sing “I Would Do Anything for Love.” So, I did, and, what can I say, a little tequila-inspired power ballad catharsis in front of my drunk brethren and I felt a real connection with the guy.

But, apparently, I didn’t know Meat Loaf as well as I thought. I don’t know how this conversation between me and a friend started the other day, but somehow it culminated in this disagreement: I was convinced that “Close My Eyes Forever” was a Lita Ford and Meat Loaf duet while my friend was convinced it was Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne. I mean, I was CONVINCED. Like I’m glad I don’t have children because I may have bet their lives on it convinced.

Well, my friend immediately looked it up on his iPhone, and it was Ozzy.

Obviously, this resulted in an existential crisis on my part. What could I be sure of anymore? Is there one universal truth or is truth subjective? Johnny Depp is super hot, right? Right???

This doubt has unfortunately bled into my professional life.

I was grading yesterday, and I came upon an error I have seen pop up in my students’ writing lately. It’s kind of a new thing: a handful of students have been starting their sentences with the word majority, but without a or the in front of it, like this:

Majority of Bon Jovi songs are karaoke crowd pleasers.

Before the whole Meat Loaf incident, I had been confidently writing the in front of it, but yesterday, I thought that maybe I should look it up, just in case, you know, they were right.

Well, the good news is that I was right; the bad news is that I didn’t know as much as I thought I did about the word majority.

During my research, I learned that majority should only be used with countable nouns. For example, it’s correct to write:

I don’t actually know the majority of Meat Loaf’s songs.

(The number of songs he has can be counted.)

But, it’s incorrect to write:

The majority of my relationship with Meat Loaf was based on lies.

(I can’t count my relationship with Meat Loaf.)

Instead, I should write:

Most of my relationship with Meat Loaf was based on lies.

But I am still pretty confident it was Meat Loaf and Cher who sang “I’ve Got You Babe.”



Resource:

Brians, Paul. Common Errors in English Usage. http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/majority.html.

18 comments:

HulaBuns said...

LOL! Yep, it was definitely Cher and Meatloaf who sang that one.That's weird, I wonder why students have been doing that? Maybe it's said on a popular show a lot? Who knows!?

Anyways, I love me some Meatloaf, especially when he plays Robert Paulson (aka "Bitch tits") in Fight Club. Oh, and his songs are good also... :D

Joanna St. James said...

Don't worry Johnny Depp is still hot, unfortunately he is still taken grrrh

Tere Kirkland said...

Oh, that's interesting, kind of like fewer than and less than. Thanks for clearing that up.

It must have just been the timing, like I was 15 or so when that Meatloaf album came out, but I swear I know every word to every song. It's like, come on brain, years of learning things and THIS is what you retained? I thought all the drugs I did in college would have wiped that out completely. At least that was the plan...

;)

Gorilla Bananas said...

My apeish instinct would have told me you couldn't have "a majority" of a relationship. Starting a sentence with "Majority" sounds like the English spoken in the Indian subcontinent.

The Invisible Seductress said...

I would do anything for Johnny Depp...Is that a song? It is now... I am singing it... You can give me song rights if you want. *wink*

....I always learn here... I like that!!


You thought it was Meatloaf and Lita??? That cracked me up!!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

The majority of your points, as in all of them, have struck a chord with me. I will spend most of my time taking better care not to abuse the word majority.

Janet Johnson said...

LOL! You are so right about Meatloaf and Cher.

And I didn't know that rule about majority either. Good to know. :) Maybe a should do a FIND in my book just in case . . .

Logical Libby said...

I think he also was the other voice on "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" with Elton John. He just used the name Kiki Dee.

Hannah Kincade said...

Now I have every song you've listed in my head simultaneously. I'm going to have interesting dreams tonight. I thank you!

Stephen Tremp said...

Rading your blogs I think of that organized crime boss character from the movie Johnny Damgerously (Michael Keaton and Joe Piscapo) who was arrested for butchering the English language.

Stephen Tremp

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KAZ said...

You're one real tough cookie, I can tell you that.

Carolyn Abiad said...

I can never think of anything to say here. 1)Because you so are much funnier and 2) Because you might check my grammar... Anyway, now I know how to use "majority".

Amanda Sablan said...

Oh wow, is there any better tune than Love Shack? <3

Never knew that about "majority." I feel like a student again when I read your blog posts.

Talli Roland said...

Interesting. I don't think I ever would have thought of using 'majority' like you did in the second wrong way. But it's good to know if I ever want to trot out the word!

PS - For me it's Bon Jovi: 'Living on a Prayer'. Best karaoke song ever,

Rick said...

I hate no-it-alls with their iPhones.
It's made proving me wrong waaaay too easy.
It's getting to a point where I can't run around spouting incorrect nonsense without somebody immediately fact-checking me.
Oh well, at least it's a known fact that iPhones cause brain cancer. (don't look that up)

Theresa Milstein said...

My husband took a speech class in writing and performed "Will You Love me Forever" or whatever it's called by Meat Loaf. He didn't ham (get it) it up but the woman he lip synced with got all into it. I wish I had the video.

I didn't know majority had to be a countable noun.

I'm sorry you're disillusioned by Meat Loaf or what you knew about Meat Loaf or what you thought you knew about Meat Loaf.

Shouldn't it be "Meatloaf"?

kathryn said...

Ha! So basically, we should simply omit the word "majority" and be done with it.

I happened upon Paradise By the Dashboard Light and had a heartfelt duet with Mr. Meatloaf....then, I got bored. )It's a very long song.)

You stick to your guns, missy. It COULD have been Meatloaf. Maybe the Internet is WRONG.