Friday, June 27, 2008

Interns On Grammar

Recently we had one of our interns look into the grammar issues that keep cropping up in some of our songs. Apparently, we has a problem with this.

Our intern , Brae Whether, analyzed the song What We Need Is Some Interns In Here.
I have no definitive answers, but after some extensive research I have some decent arguments about the sentence: "What we need is some interns in here."

"We" seems to be the subject, but I think that's the case only because it's a poorly constructed sentence.

I think an argument can be made that the real subject of the sentence is "interns." The sentence should be something like, "More interns are needed in here."

There's a grammar rule called the proximity principle which states that the verb should agree with the closest noun. Look at the examples below:

- What he needs are loving parents and a stable home.
- What he needs is a stable home and loving parents.

I think this song is more of an example of 1 than 2.

Finally, if your sentence is singular, then if follows that it can be turned plural. But I can't seem to make it turn plural. However, I can easily make is singular: "What we need is an intern."

Or, change the subject, make it plural, and change the word "interns" to something singular: "What the companies need are a scanner." See how that doesn’t make sense? If the subject of that sentence were "companies" then that sentence should read correctly. More evidence that "we" is not the subject of the original sentence.

Late for class. More tomorrow if you would like to continue.

Thanks Brae for that thoughtful analysis. We is going to write better lyrics in the future.