Should we just start a column called Come On Feel Ill-annoyed? Thanks to Sufjan Stevens second written language criticism of the year, we're tempted to put an offer up to Mr. Stevens to keep him demanding better of our prized musicians and distracted from his 50 States project.
Earlier this year it was Savages who felt Sufjan's wrath of typography criticism. Was it petty? A little. Is it petty to call out Miley Cyrus in a grammatical error of laying vs. lying in her single “#GetItRight”? Well, yes but who could resist the opportunity to make a pun of the song title? Certainly not Sufjan.
Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.” Whatever. I’m not the best lyricist, but you know what I mean. #Get It Right The Next Time.
Ohhh Miley how does that Hurts Donut taste? Get'er Sufjan!
But don’t worry, even Faulkner messed it up.
Is it possible Miley was merely referencing the Southern vernacular of Addie Bundren of As I Lay Dying? Did Hannah Montana ghostwrite this one, ya'll?
Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine. Anyway, doesn’t that also sum up your career right now? Present. Perfect. Continuous. And Tense. Intense?
No one saw this coming. Sufjan can write Miley's biography entitled, “Present Perfect Continuous.” Such brilliance like watching the graceful landing of swan on a still lake. If our sources at Wikipedia are correct and Sufjan is Arabic for “comes with sword”, then something something… pen mightier than sword stuff. You get it.
Read the full open letter to Miley Cyrus here.