Disclaimer: 3CM the loser has never deliberately heard any music by the artists mentioned in the article in question.
In Brazil, there is a chain of English-language schools, Red Balloon (no idea if the name has anything to do with the classic 1956 Albert Lamorisse film, but it sounds likely - ironic since the film is French, but 3CM digresses, as usual). Something that Red Balloon recently devised as a teaching tool got a write-up in The Guardian, among other places. The idea is to take, from Twitter (where else), celebrity tweets (English-language, of course) with poor grammar, and for a team Brazilian kids to correct them. The team has the name of "Celeb Grammar Cops" (although one can argue that perhaps it should be "Celebrity Grammar Cops", but that might be too long for Twitter). More (though not much) below the flip....
In her article, Harriet Gibsone sums it up:
"In a crafty attempt to help its students learn in a modern, engaging way, the Red Balloon English language school, which has branches in several Brazilian cities, has been getting its pupils to critique celebrities' badly written tweets. The 'Celeb Grammar Cops' are a team of children aged between eight and 13 who respond with the grammatically correct edits to celebrity solecisms. The team was formed when Red Balloon teachers became worried that their pupils were absorbing too much grammatically incorrect or colloquial English in tweets by entertainers. Once the Cops have located their target, they then use the @RedBalloon twitter account to revise the tweets, sending suggestions for corrected versions."Some examples of originals and corrections:
"(a) Rihanna: "@She's my rock so I hold on to she tight!!!"Granted, in the Lady Gaga example that was quoted, I think that the artist formerly known as Stefani Germanotta didn't type "crowed" deliberately, but that was just an accidental typo. Since 144 is the magic number on Twitter, one does not, or should not, deliberately waste characters :) .
Red Balloon student Carolina, age 11: "Hi @rihanna! I love your songs. My name is Carolina. I'm 11 years old. It's not to she, it's to her. bye bye".
(b) Soulja Boy: "She not a queen if she don't belong to a king"
Red Balloon students Mayara (age 11) and Ana (age 8): "We're 11 and 8 years old. Did you mean "she's not" and "she doesn't"? :)"."
Interestingly, in the comments section on the Guardian article, on the correction to the Rihanna tweet, commenter Jerome Brathwaite says, with a dollop of wisdom:
"Actually, in the instance where Rihanna uses 'she' instead of 'her', she is using the dialect of her birthplace Barbados. She is using the Bajan dialect. I don't think anyone should go around trying to 'correct' a dialect. Dialects are per definition non standard."One wonders if this kind of tool to teach grammar to American (or even Canadian - think Justin Bieber) schoolkids would work. I have the sneaking suspicion that such a tool would backfire big-time. Plus, this kind of correction probably wouldn't go down well with one's classmates in a US setting, putting that kind of person in the dog-house socially. (Yes, 3CM does rather resemble that remark.)
Of course, the whole point of Twitter is to communicate a message in as compressed a manner as possible, within the linguistic space of 144 characters. Thus abbreviations that a knowing audience can mentally translate are part of the Twitter vocabulary, as well as sometimes deliberate use of odd grammar or word choice to convey a sentiment. Case in point, from someone whom the Celeb Grammar Cops won't even think to study, the American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton (who recently won two prizes in the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, very un-loserly of her). See if you can spot the grammar gaffe from one of her June 25, 2013 tweets:
The recipe for happiness is simple: 2 kitties + 1 hamster in a ball toy from Hamley's = hilarity! Add 1 napping hubby & you've got happy. :)No hamster here (nor an SO, but then 'twas ever thus with 3CM), but just a bit of light frivolity for your Saturday night. I'm currently off somewhere else to be back in a few hours, so yup, this is yet another autobot-posted SNLC. In the meantime, until I (hopefully) get back, you can observe the usual SNLC protocol, namely your loser stories of the week, Twitter-related, grammar-related, or otherwise.....