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re: Higgins' grammatical "mistakes"
Posted by: Michael_Portantiere 11:00 pm EDT 04/06/21
In reply to: re: Higgins' grammatical "mistakes" - StanS 11:53 am EDT 04/06/21

"Yes, by all means, point out all the mistakes. It's interesting to know them. I only get angry when these types of mistakes are treated as an actual weakness, to say that Lerner wasn't doing his job. He did his job brilliantly. You agree that MFL is one of the greatest sets of lyrics. My point is that "I'd be equally as willing ..." is part of the reason for that greatness, not an exception to it."

I don't understand and/or don't agree with your logic here. Lerner did his job brilliantly in the bulk of his writing for the show but NOT in those several sections when he put grammatical errors in the mouth of a character who, in my opinion, should speak with perfect grammar (and this also applies to the grammatical errors that Shaw wrote for Higgins in PYGMALION). The grammatical errors committed by Higgins in the songs of MY FAIR LADY are indeed an "actual weakness" in Lerner's work, in my opinion. For example, the overall concept and content of the line "I'd be equally as willing...." is indeed great, but the line would be far greater if the lyricist had tweaked it to make it grammatically correct. And you know what, during the course of this discussion over the past several days, I think I've pretty much fixed it with just some small modifications:

"I would equally be willing for a dentist to be drilling as to ever let a woman in my life."

Maybe that's not 100 percent perfect, and "I would be equally willing" arguably sounds better, but the version above scans with the music, and it's a lot closer to grammatical correctness than the line that Lerner settled for.
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