Sinead O’Connor recently penned a scathing open letter to singer Miley Cyrus, warning her of the dangers of sexualizing her image, being exploited by the music industry and telling her that she is a role model that is sending the message to young listeners that it is “somehow cool to be prostituted.” Now, Sufjan Stevens has posted his own open letter to the controversial pop-singer about another egregious mistake (though he does admit “surely this isn’t your worst misdemeanor”): Her poor grammar in the song #GetItRight.
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 … But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. 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 … 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?
Thankfully for Miley, there are other caring celebrities who are willing to issue such stern, but also thoughtful, words of correction … Discuss