Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Thorny Issue

The Prude was recently pruning recalcitrant branches from a rosebush, and as one thing is wont to lead to another in the way of things, she began humming a song from her rock- and-roll-hootchie-coo days.
The chorus. as sung by a group so winsomely named ‘Poison’, goes something like this:

‘Every rose has its thorn,
just like every night has its dawn,
just like every cowboy has a sad, sad song,
blah.blah, so and so and so.’

And therein lies my problem, and your problem too.  The chorus brazenly trumpets the deadly rot eating away at the heart of American language and song, to whit,
Faulty Logical Parallel Structure.

Parallel Structure, as anyone knows, concerns the similarity in structure between ideas and grammatical form.  And although the Prude has to admit that grammatically the above phrasing is above reproach (with the exception of using ‘like’ instead of the infinitely preferable ‘as’), please PLEASE look at the ideas represented above.

A thorn to a rose may be what a sad song is to a cowboy. 
But isn’t dawn to night a positive thing?  Unless, that it, you are a vampire?
(don’t even get The Prude started on the Twilight series vampires)

The Prude may generously deduce that dawn WAS, in fact, a sad thing for the young gentlemen of the 80’s group Poison.  Upon awakening, after a night of  dissolute debauchery with an excess of strong drink and women of questionable character, they caught a glimpse of their Shirley Temple-meets-Medusa hairdos and promptly drew the blinds.

Someday The Prude may interview every cowboy to check on the statement that every cowboy has a sad sad song. Then she may need to write on the creeping blight of Overgeneralization.
Till then, I have taken the liberty to change the lyrics:

‘Every non-hybrid rose has its thorn,
Just as every night has no sun above the horizon
Just as every cowboy can identify a co-ow
Blah,blah, so and so and so.’

The beauty of the Faultless Parallelism and Veracity will grow on you.  The Prude loves this song already.

TOMORROW: Blissful Use of Euphemisms

5 comments:

Sue said...

I don't know the group Poison or exactly what 'Shirley Temple-meets Medusa' but I surely like your new version of the song.

The Prude said...

Thank you Sue. I will hum the tune for you so you can sing this new version as you go about your duties.

Cindy said...

Sad to report that not only do I know who Poison is, I also know the full lyrics of this song . . . alas. But I have repented and not find myself singing other, more prudely little ditties. (Yes, Prude, I know that "prudely" is not a word. But, as Shane Holden once said, "I will not allow my speech to be limited by the English language." I make up words as I see fit, in order to fully convey my thoughts. Now, you may argue that "prudish" might have been a better choice. . . and, in hindsight, I would have to agree. Yet, unlike the Prude, I'm not one who is known for thinking before she speaks. Dear Prude, I will work on this inadequacy and make you proud!

Cindy said...

Oh dear, oh dear! Another inadequacy revealed! For shame! I allowed a typographical error to be published in my last comment! Correction: I NOW find myself singing more prudely little ditties."

The Prude said...

Oh Cindy, it is a sobering day for a blogger when the comments are more entertaining than the post!
I believe I could fall in love with the word 'prudely'