Monday, February 9, 2009
New Contender for Most Grammar-savvy TV Show
In the past, I've dubbed "The Simpsons" the most grammatically savvy show on TV. But now it appears it has some competition.
In just a few short seasons, NBC's "30 Rock" has squeezed in at least four great grammar jokes.
1. In last week's episode, Tracy, the seemingly not-too-smart actor who's the star of the fictional sketch comedy show, tells a supposedly more educated character: "Don't end a sentence with a preposition."
2. In a previous season, Tracy humiliated an Ivy League writer by telling him his "who" should have been "whom."
3. Also last week, it was revealed that star Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) wrote a letter of complaint about the grammar in signage in the New York City subway. Her reasoning: Someone needs to defend "whom."
4. My favorite: Earlier this season, Salma Hayek was demonstrating to love interest Alec Baldwin the power of speaking quickly and authoritatively in Spanish. As she tore through several rapid-fire Spanish sentences, Alec's character Jack, overwhelmed with confusion and passion, at one point mumbled, "Was that the subjunctive?"
I never thought I'd hear the word "subjunctive" on prime time. And that's why "The Simpsons" writers should watch their backs.