or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Don't Do That

I read the Toronto Star every day while I was visiting my mother and stepfather because they have a subscription, but goddamn, I hated doing it, because I could pretty much be guaranteed to find a typo or some other egregious mistake on every single page, and it was like hitting myself on the forehead with a tack hammer over and over again. Now that I'm back home, I guess I wanted to recreate the experience, or maybe I'm just really masochistic, because today I went to Salon, which I hardly ever do any more, and the very first article I read, on Glee (which I still watch, against my better judgement), contained this sentence-paragraph:

And look, we'd be more than happy to take our menus and smile politely through overzealous talk of 2-for-1 provolone-stuffed meatloaf and happy hour specials on Main Street 'Ritas, if it never segued into a warbling, slightly ironic rendition of Meatloaf's "I Could Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," followed by a rambling confession about the control issues that arise when a brand-new relationship goes sour faster than a Red Apple 'Rita.

Ignoring the horrible abbreviation for "margarita", what stands out is the title of the Meatloaf song, because it's self-evidently wrong, and we know this without even being able to call the song to mind because as rendered it is grammatically incorrect, or at least hideous. The actual title is "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)", and the song itself skips the contraction and has the lyrics as "I would do anything for love...", because it scans better. If the second word had been "could", then the third-from-last would properly have been "can't". Would/won't: could/can't. This is obvious. Did Heather Havrilesky actually read what she wrote? Did it ever occur to her to Google the song title, just in case? Or is she just completely tin-eared?


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