A Tale of Two Word Videos

For his current effort (editor's note: is album the appropriate word here?), Weird Al Yankovic posted eight videos in eight days. Two of these posts covered word use, but only one seems to have resonated with viewers.

In Word Crimes, which uses Blurred Lines for its notes, Yankovic reviews several grammar mistakes. Stan Carey, among other bloggers, responded with criticisms of the grammar mistakes mentioned in the video. According to YouTube, the Word Crimes video has been seen 12.5 million times.

In Mission Statement, which probably uses a Crosby, Stills, and Nash song for its notes, Yankovic roughly sings a song comprised of nothing more than corporate jargon, clichés, and other nonsense. This song appears far more powerful in pointing out the ever-increasing amount of empty phrases included by, well, nearly everyone. This video, not surprisingly, has garnered only 712,000 views.

At least two explanations could exist for the disparity in views. One, copy editors, journalists, and writers are more likely on Twitter. These people pushed the video on other social media platforms. Nearly two weeks since Word Crimes was posted, the hashtag reached 91,075 unique Twitter accounts. This reach remains impressive. Conversely, Mission Statement lacked an associated hashtag.

Two, most people use at least one of those phrases derided and dismissed in Mission Statement. People, as a general rule, do not appreciate even gently teasing of their integration of corporate speak into general vocabulary.

It is too bad that Mission Statement failed to garner more views because it marks a more creative effort in terms of both words and image.

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Mission Statement video

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Word Crimes video