Update: Ariana Grande Really Cares About Grammar After All

Slate's Culture Blog
Aug. 7 2014 4:32 PM

Update: Ariana Grande Really Cares About Grammar After All

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Ariana Grande, grammar maven.

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Clear Channel

When Ariana Grande released the lyric video for “Break Free” last month, listeners took to Twitter to point out the song’s blatant disregard for the rules of grammar. In the first verse, she sings, “Don’t wanna hear you lie tonight/ Now that I’ve become who I really are.” Some posited that perhaps she was singing a hybrid of “am” and “are” in an effort to force a rhyme. Here at Brow Beat, however, we pointed a finger at Swedish songwriter/producer Max Martin, who co-wrote the song, and whose many linguistic travesties are well-documented.

Our supposition that Martin was to blame was correct, it turns out. And there’s more: Grande has now said that she fought with Martin over the lyrics and their flagrant disrespect for the English language. Her response to the improper sentence construction? “I am not going to sing a grammatically incorrect lyric, help me God!” But Martin insisted that it was funny and urged her to just go with it, which she ultimately did.

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“I need to shake it off and let it go and be a little less rigid and old,” she says now. To that, we say: No, Ariana Grande. Stay rigid. Hold that ponytail high and stay true to proper conjugation. Don’t let this happen again:

Eliza Berman is an intern in the culture department at Slate.

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