Grammar / Mini-Lessons

Idol Grammar

Mini-Lesson 2 is brought to you by American Idol. This evening as my daughter and I watched one of our favorite shows,American Idol , Grading Girl couldn’t help but hear some grammar goofs. Granted the contestants are chosen based on how they sing, not how they speak, but perhaps they could be a little more cognizant of their language. After all, only about 17.5 million people are viewing the show.

Contestant Lil Rounds made a faux pas when she described herself this way: “I did good.”  Grading Girl nearly cringes every time she hears this mistake ~

Arianna and I on "Idol Tonight," American Idol, Season 5
My daughter and I on “Idol Tonight,” American Idol, Season 5

Good vs. Well

Good is an adjective, meaning that it modifies  nouns.

Well is an adverb, meaning it modifies verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.

Examples ~

*That song is good.  (Good is modifying the noun, song)

*You played that song very well.  (Well is modifying the verb, played)

In Lil Round’s sentence, “well” should replace “good” because it is modifying the verb, “did.”

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Characteristic of the crazy English language (see essay titled “Do fingers fing?“), there is an exception:  “Well” may be used when describing something healthy, proper, or suitable.  Example:  I am well today.

Grading Girl also couldn’t help but hear Matt Giraud say, “Sing it how it’s supposed to be sang.”  Uh, maybe American Idol should hire Grading Girl as a speech consultant.

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Do fingers fing?

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