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Higgins' grammatical "mistakes"
Last Edit: StanS 09:21 pm EDT 04/05/21
Posted by: StanS 09:18 pm EDT 04/05/21
In reply to: The messy brilliance of the MY FAIR LADY film (VERY LONG!) - Michael_Portantiere 05:59 pm EDT 03/31/21

Poetic license: "the freedom to depart from the facts of a matter or from the conventional rules of language when speaking or writing in order to create an effect."

This has come up many times on this site. Not only do these grammatical errors not bother me, I actually enjoy them for their very faults. It's almost as if Higgins is making them just to show he can, correctness be damned. It almost becomes part of the arrogance of his character.

Has anybody found any "mistakes" in Higgins' dialogue? No, it's just in the songs, where heightened emotion particularly allows license.

foreign/aren': When I first heard that I laughed. Why? Because it seemed to me that Higgins was winking at us ("I'll get this to rhyme come hell or high water"). It meets the basic requirement of any great rhyme: it gives pleasure.

"I'd be equally as willing for a dentist to be drilling than to ever let a woman in my life":
I'm sorry, but that is just a f***ing great line, period. It rolls off the tongue so deliciously that if someone ever replaced it with a grammatically "corrected" version, I would ... (propriety forbids me).

My Fair Lady has one of the greatest set of lyrics in musical comedy history, if not the greatest, grammatical "mistakes" and all.
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