A British teacher posted this letter written by one of her unnamed students to Facebook, taking Justin Bieber to task over his use of grammar. The letter, which was posted back in February, but has since gone viral, zeroes in on Bieber’s 2012 hit, “Boyfriend,” taking specific umbrage with the line, “If I was your boyfriend.” Here’s his argument:
In the song, you can be heard — on a number of occasions — stating ‘If I was your boyfriend’: here you have clearly used the subjunctive mood incorrectly. The correct lyrics should, in fact be, ‘If I were your boyfriend’. This is a very common mistake made by the public today; however, if role models (and popular singer/song-writers) such as you cannot use it, why should we make the effort to study and use such grammatical forms correctly?
The student goes on to say that he finds it “incredibly disappointing” that Bieber can’t follow the basics of the English language, citing Beyonce as an artist who is keeping it real when it comes to grammar.
On one hand, you have to admit he has a point. It’s a pretty egregious grammatical error, but whether the song would lose anything if it replaced “was” with “were” is not for me to say. On the other hand, of all the things to goof on Justin Bieber for… Well, let’s just say the kid is not picking his battles on this one. Let it go, Martin Prince. Doesn’t this kid have better things to do with his time, like get beaten up for his lunch money?
(Via MTV News)