Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes”

As a professor of college students, I see many students who struggle with grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other issues related to essential writing skills. Often, these issues come from common misunderstandings of language that we see in the media and in informal writing that is all around us everyday.

Too frequently, I will see advertisements that are published with glaring grammar or punctuation issues! If these advertisements, which went through proof reading and was seen by many eyes prior to being published, have these basic issues, then of course my students will too.

I want my students to understand that this is normal. It happens all the time. They should not feel embarrassed by this, but should focus on the future instead – improving their skills, developing their writing knowledge, and overcoming these issues in the future. I will often refer students to resources like Grammarly , which is free and easy to use. However, it is not perfect!

As a way to deal with the fact that we all struggle with these issues, I try to help my students see the “humor” in writing mistakes, through Weird Al Yankovic’s eyes. Take a look:


Jenny Mark

Jenny Mark is a graduate of California State University of San Bernardino and lives in Southern California. She is a part time professor for Baker College, Southern New Hampshire University, Vista College, and Baker College. She teachs composition, creative writing, and essential college skills. Check out her blog at

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