Idol Grammar

April 15, 2009 by  
Filed under Grammar, Mini-Lessons

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.”


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.