Sufjan Stevens offers Miley advice

Indie rocker Sufjan Stevens isn’t happy about Miley Cyrus. No, he’s not so much worried about the foam finger grinding, incessant air fellatio, or her increasingly undressed relationship with photographer Terry Richardson that has Stevens worried; it’s her use of correct subjunctives and commas. Following Sinead O’Connor’s lead, Sufjan penned an open letter to Cyrus, which he posted to his personal website. He got right to the point, harking on the wording in her latest song, “#GetitRight” off her album BANGERZ, released last week. To be sure, Sufjan’s letter was much more tame and less maternal than O’Connor’s, with some humor there to break the ice. Read below:

Dear Miley. I can’t stop listening to #GetItRight (great song, great message, great body), but maybe you need a quick grammar lesson. One particular line causes concern: “I been laying in this bed all night long.” Miley, technically speaking, you’ve been LYING, not LAYING, an irregular verb form that should only be used when there’s an object, i.e. “I been laying my tired booty on this bed all night long.

But also, Miley, did you know the tense here is also totally wrong. Surely you’ve heard of Present Perfect Continuous Tense (I HAVE BEEN LYING in this bed all night long [hopefully getting some beauty sleep?]). It’s a weird, equivocal, almost purgatorial tense, not quite present, not quite past, not quite here, not quite there. Somewhere in between. I feel that way all the time. It kind of sucks. But I have a feeling your “present perfect continuous” involves a lot more excitement than mine.


Jake Krzeczowski

Jake Krzeczowski is a writer based in Chicago. Since graduating from the University of Iowa in 2012 he has written for the likes of The Chicago Sun Times, Complex Magazine, and Elevator Magazine.

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