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Song Parodies -> "I Am the Very Model of a Pedant Quite Grammatical"

Original Song Title:

"The Major-General's Song"

Original Performer:

Gilbert & Sullivan

Parody Song Title:

"I Am the Very Model of a Pedant Quite Grammatical"

Parody Written by:

Dr. Oliver Clozoff

The Lyrics

My very first attempt at the Major-General's song.
I am the very model of a pedant quite grammatical,
I've information linguistic, semantic, and syntactical,
I know the "ing's" of gerunds, and their usages pragmatical
On Oxford comma omissions, I'm known to get drammatical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters quite rhetorical,
I understand the metaphors and symbols allegorical,
Of isomorphic relations I'm known to know a thing or three,
With many cheerful facts about their usage in song parody.

I'm good at counting syllables and matching up the emphases;
(Although it gives me flashbacks to resolving Lisp parentheses):
In short, in matters linguistic, semantic, and syntactical,
I am the very model of a pedant quite grammatical.

I've written epic parodies, when not suff'ring from writer's block;
I find the bestest muse can be a double stout or doppelbock,
I wrote a send-up of "The Raven" on a single IPA,
My spoofs of ev'ry Rush song are all noted in my resume;
I can spell out anagrams from the originating text on sight,
I know that "New York Times" can be reordered into "monkeys write"!
In fact, it would improve their rag to swap their staff with chimpanzees,
If nothing else, it would help to reduce their painful journalese.

I like to think a special place in hell awaits the people who
Confuse the use of "its" and "it's", or write "try and", and not "try to":
When "there" and "their" and "they're" confound, I tend to get fanatical,
I am the very model of a pedant quite grammatical.

In fact, when I see some asshat use two spaces post-period,
I fantasize about incentivizing him, ways myriad
To please conform to ev'ry norm of proper writing protocol
Your pronouns better not be vague, infinitives not split at all
When I have played with similes and all things analogical
When most of my best parodies lean to the scatalogical
In short, when I can list all prepositions alphabetical
You'll say a better grammar pedant must be hypothetical

For my literary knowledge, though I lean quite hard to hard sci-fi
I do expect adherence strict to grammar rules that underlie
To summarize, this grammar critic never takes sabbatical
I am the very model of a pedant quite grammatical.
copyright (C) 2014 by Dr. Oliver Clozoff

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Matches Pace of
Original Song: 
How Funny: 
Overall Score: 

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Voting Results

Pacing: 2.5
How Funny: 2.6
Overall Rating: 2.6

Total Votes: 33

Voting Breakdown

The following represent how many people voted for each category.

    Pacing How Funny Overall Rating
 1   19
 2   0
 3   2
 4   1
 5   11

User Comments

Comments are subject to review, and can be removed by the administration of the site at any time and for any reason.

Onslaught - February 14, 2014 - Report this comment
This is a masterpiece. I invite the two uni-bombers to boldly go to Hades.
Patrick - February 14, 2014 - Report this comment
Nice to see someone taking on this challenging OS. Reminds me of someone who is no longer with us. I don't use the numerical rating system. But it would score very high if I did. Always liked your pseudonym, too. Assuming it is a pseudonym.
Gene Roddenberry - February 14, 2014 - Report this comment
Onslaught, you may be a dull Klingon but you have just enough intelligence to boldly split an infinitive. Glad to see that the subject of grammar has infiltrated the consciousness of some around here.
Dr. Oliver Clozoff - February 14, 2014 - Report this comment
Just curious Patrick, who does it remind you of? Because I used to post here under The Stinker, and then Doppelbock.
Top Hat - February 15, 2014 - Report this comment
Beg to differ Guv but I found this submission a bit under par as goes the OS and an Oxford scholar you are not, Sir. Not quite rubbish, but not top drawer either. The ratings seem to bear that out I'm afraid. Filled with excess and self-importance; rather careless for such an endeavor, wouldn't you say?
Callmelennie - February 15, 2014 - Report this comment
"Filled with excess and self-importance" ..... The troll doth project much, methinks
Leo Keough - February 15, 2014 - Report this comment
I thought this was good for a first attempt at the monster. I didn't vote, because you didn't provide a link to the version of the OS you were spoofing, so I had no way of judging the pacing fairly. I had some pacing and rhyming deficiencies the first time I tried it. Then I looked at the Stan Hall's parody at and did a much better job the second time. I would recommend you do the same.

I see from your author page that you've already done an American Pie parody, so you're well on your way to earning a Big 7 medal.

Keep up the good work and don't let the trolls bother you.
spellin' B - February 15, 2014 - Report this comment
'Taint dat great, 'n' pacin' be off 2!!!
John Jenkins - February 15, 2014 - Report this comment
The couplets that used tri-syllable rhyming, such as the first 6 lines of the first verse, were fantastic. The other lines seemed inconsistent with the Major General rhyming pattern and uninspired.
Hmm... - February 15, 2014 - Report this comment
First verse is excellent and then downhill from there. Pacing off too. Word selection is so-so as if the author tried too hard to show-off instead of nailing the parody by line and rhyme, wit and time.
Phil Alexander - February 16, 2014 - Report this comment
Very good idea for a M-G parody, and excellent in places, but ISTM that you need to make sure the parody is grammatically perfect if you're going to go with this sort of subject matter (or else you're really setting yourself up for a fall). Having said that, anyone voting 1s on this needs their brains tested - sure, it's not perfect, but it is very good indeed.
Agrimorfee - February 16, 2014 - Report this comment
Despite not being very consistent in the concept, I enjoyed this up until the final verse. Kinda let your pedantry get the better of you there. You've been critiqued well by some of the top writers here...take it forward from there. (Come see the Parody Song Contests thread at to join bi-weekly challenges and get more friendly advice!)
Callmelennie - February 16, 2014 - Report this comment
Well, if the whole point of your parody is that you're being a pedant, how can anyone say you're being TOO pedantical. By definition, a pedant is an obnoxious character. I mean, the whole tone of the OS is that the singer is being a braggart about his wide range of knowledge, most of which have zero relevance to his position as a military leader. Your parody captures the tone of the OS well. You're not getting fair treatment here, Oliver ........ As for the SIX trolls who gave onesies, that is utterly deranged. It means absolutely nothing, other than the fact that we had a particularly noxious infestation of trolls the past few days
Giorgio Coniglio - February 16, 2014 - Report this comment
This piece was inspired and well crafted. The development of the "monkeys write" anagram was wonderful. Who cares if all the rhymes aren't 3-syllables? GioLio.
Gene Roddenberry - February 16, 2014 - Report this comment
@callmelennie: You write "...the whole tone of the OS is that the singer is being a braggart about his wide range of knowledge, most of which have zero relevance to his position as a military leader. Your parody captures the tone of the OS well." In fact, the original tone, which is to enumerate bits of high knowledge that are irrelevant to being a model military officer, is completely missed in this parody. The latter is merely a cleverly written list of grammatical grudges and gripes written by a grammatical pedant -- not a plumber or a chef or a C.E.O. Thus the irony of the O.S. is lost -- the same G & S irony which explains that if you polish up the handles of the big front door carefully, you will become ruler of the Queen's Navy. For all the bravura writing, this is a charming failure, and if I were you, I wouldn't dismiss all the 1-givers as trolls.
Dr. Oliver Clozoff - February 16, 2014 - Report this comment
Thank you all for the feedback and excellent advice -- all of which helps me to improve!
Phil Alexander - February 17, 2014 - Report this comment
@Gene Roddenberry (yeah, right..) - the reason for not dismissing the 1-voters as "trolls" is that it's an inaccurate use of the word "troll"; however there is no valid reason for voting 1s on this, even if you feel it is a charming failure of bravura writing: the pacing is very nearly there, definitely worthy of at least a 4; if you think it's not funny at all, then the problem is with you, not with the song; and as for an overall rating.. well, it has inspired a longer comments thread than the overwhelming majority, most of which comments are actually about the song. So while the 1 voters aren't "trolls" in the technical sense, they're humourless, spiteful idiots who don't know how to vote on a parody.
Parodist - February 17, 2014 - Report this comment
@Phil -- Perhaps you should also make a general and groundless characterization of the much more numerous and automatic 5-voters as being humorless and thoughtless buddies. Your judgment from on high about ALL 1-voters lacks evidence and motive. How do you know that Roddenberry voted 1s, just because he thought that the parody was "a charming failure"? And don't tell me that those who don't agree with you have a "problem."
Phil Alexander - February 17, 2014 - Report this comment
@Parodist (or should I call you Rob?) - I was answering a specific point made by the sockpuppet calling himself Gene Roddenberry (was that you, too?). The reason I think you are probably Rob Arndt is that just about every point you made in that post is wrong (characteristic of attempts at argument on other threads, too): given that I was being specific about the people who voted 1s on this parody (which from context is fairly evident to anyone who understands English), and gave reasons for why voting 1s in any category for this parody is wrong, it is neither "general" nor "groundless"; nor about ALL 1-voters, nor is it lacking evidence. I didn't say you (sorry, "Roddenberry") voted ones as I don't know, that is merely your inability to read or comprehend. And when have I ever said "those who don't agree with me have a problem"? Merely that anyone who thinks the above parody has no humour in it, enough to vote a 1 for "how funny" is utterly lacking a sense of humour, which is their problem (not mine, or the author's). And as for humourless and thoughtless buddies voting 5s, well, assuming you are Rob Arndt, you'd know a lot more about that than I do.
Patrick - February 17, 2014 - Report this comment
The late, great Tommy Turtle was a fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, and was kind enough to compliment me on my first (and only) attempt at "Major General". Mine was part of my ongoing series of parodies relating to the mishaps of a scientist who dreamed of conquering the world with an army of his own clones. Tommy was always ready with advice on grammar and pacing for parody writers.
Dr. Oliver Clozoff - February 18, 2014 - Report this comment
What? "Late" Tommy Turtle? I've not been tapped into this community very much for a while. He was kind enough to share some wisdom with me through emails about the finer details of parodies. I was unaware he had passed. Very sad...
Callmelennie - February 18, 2014 - Report this comment
Here is some evidence that would tend to support the idea that every person giving this piece a 1X1 is either acting out of childish spite or has no understanding whatsoever of the relevant standards; or of the idea of objective standards itself .... 1)- the Major General's Song is one of the more difficult songs to parody; it's only been done about 150 times (out of about 80,000 parodies) and about 80 of those were done by five masters of parody. So by any objective standard, NO successful rendition of "The Major General's Song" should get get a one-bomb. Indeed if you look at the archive you'll see that only FOUR (including Oliver's) MJS's got more than 2 one-bombs -- one was an incomplete version that changed perhaps four lines (four one-bombs) and the other two were nasty sucker punches from extremists jerks from the left and right. And in the case of single one-bombs, they were usually offset by ten or more 5X5's, which just goe t show how absurd the one-bomb is ......2) As for Oliver personally, if you look at his index -- prior to June, 2013, you see no onesies at all -- except for two cases where he succumbed to the urge to pinch out a couple of potty humor parodies when he was a newbie (lol) In fact, excepting those two cases, you hardly see a single mark other than a 5X5. So what we are left to infer is either Oliver just submitted his worst parody EVER .. BY FAR, when he successfully did one of the most difficult OS in th books, OR. the one-bombers are voting out of a childish sense of spite
Phil Alexander - February 18, 2014 - Report this comment
Wow, CML- way to go on the stats :) I reckon I must have half the M-G parodies with >2 1-bombs if there's only 4 - the one about President Bush definitely does; and the other about Dawkins, too ISTR. But spot on with the analysis here.

Dr. Clozoff - I'm afraid so. TT was definitely the most honest and constructive critic round here for an age - he did have a lot of time for newbies & gave a lot of sound advice. With his passing the footnote count at amiright must have dropped 90%.
Rob Arndt - February 19, 2014 - Report this comment
Hey DOC, sorry to disappoint you, but I have not commented here until today, right now. I was not Parodist nor Gene Roddenberry (am a BSG fan over SW and ST)!!! Your conclusion is faulty. I do not even speak like those S/Ns and the military part of the OS doesn't mean anything to me. I've never done this OS... yet. Have a nice day :)
Stats??? - February 19, 2014 - Report this comment
Lennie boy, you are so full of sh... make that... yourself. You're not even a good parodist and yet ramble on about how great Dr. Clod is because he wrote a parody of M-G? Who are you to say anything? Obviously, even pro-raters made comments about pacing issues and uninspired writing for all but the first verse. Anyone of them pro or con could have left 1s. As for stats, they can be manipulated to suit any argument. I don't think anyone cares about the M-G song any more than Bohemian Rhapsody or Airfarcewon's parodies of soundtrack music! Intellectuals are known for talking for hours and saying absolutely nothing of real relevence. That is what this parody is like. Superficial "I did the M-G song" nonsense combined with affirmation of glory through the my-buddy 5 votes. In reality, this song should be a solid 333 to be absolutely fair and honest. Lennie boy, that makes you a fraud. I suggest that you crawl back under your rock and write one of your routine rightwing, racist, or anti-islamic pieces (of sh*t).
Callmelennie - February 19, 2014 - Report this comment
Stats, when you say I'm full of sh.. do you mean I'm full of objective evidence? Because that's ALL that my post was about .. marshaling objective evidence based on the rating of all previous 155 MG songs to show that a 1X1 rating is patently absurd. And if by being full of "myself", you mean full of the unanimous judgment of every parody writer who has ever written for this site for the last 14 years, then, yes, I'm full of ..."myself", because the me that is my own Self believes that objective standards matter, especially one that is overwhelmingly against you ......... Now as for you, Stats, if you believe that the unanimous judgment of every parody writer who has ever written for this site must bow down to your own deranged, name-calling, sock-puppeting self ... then what are you made of?
Andy - February 19, 2014 - Report this comment
More rectal rhetoric from sphincter boy!!!
Sabermetrician - February 19, 2014 - Report this comment
CML -- I did some strenuous research on parodies written about weapons. There are several hundred of them, with 99.27% written by the same person. Up until a year ago, these parodies were very nearly devoid of 1-ratings. According to your concept of statistics, this established an "objective standard" and inoculated the writer from receiving 1s. The fact that 1s cropped up a year ago is attributable, by your lights, to "childish spite." I, on the other hand, having been numbed by reading or scanning these parodies, guessed that somebody had finally said, "The emperor has no clothes." Since then, a few others have joined the rebellion. All of which attests to the fact that you can't predict the reaction to a single parody based upon the reactions to previous similar parodies or previous parodies by the same writer. Ironically, your insistence on objective standards, so common in rigid, rightwing, racist, anti-Islamic zealots, has caused poor Oliver's total of 1x1 ratings to soar to 10.
Phil Alexander - February 20, 2014 - Report this comment
Sabermetrician - what makes you think CML's comment was the cause of the excess 1-votes? Look up the "post hoc ergo propter hoc" fallacy. There's a strawman in there, too. And a facile attempt to associate objectivity with racism & other bigotry which is noxious in its stupidity. Are you playing fallacy bingo, by any chance?
Numero Uno - February 20, 2014 - Report this comment
This parody has been visited a total of 110 times now and has 22 total ratings. Of these, 12 are 1s, 7 are 5s, and then 3 are mixed between 3-5s. I would guess from experience that half of the 1 and 5 votes are legit for and against votes as well as all 3 of the mixed votes. The rest are troll votes by the orginal troll and then bandwagon trolls. This seems to happen whenever a troll post starts an argument and then the others chime in. Callmelennie is most likely a target here due to his controversial and sometimes insensitive parodies directed at minorities and people of a different faith and Dr. Oliver Clozoff is hit by association, which is unfortunate. This place has gone to hell over the last few years. As for myself, I DKTOS and therefore cannot vote. It does 'look' very good though. Two thumbs up!!!
Sonny - February 20, 2014 - Report this comment
Browsing the comments on this parody, I just want to know why this Major General Song is so dang important to so many people??? You would think by the scores that this was the worst parody of it to date. Is that accurate? Whenever there are controversial topics here I have noticed that both Phil Anderson and Callmelennie seem to start a chain reaction of 1-bombings whenever they leave their remarks. Coincidence? I think they just sound off to "stir the pot" if you know what I mean ;-)
Dr. Oliver Clozoff - February 25, 2014 - Report this comment
I also posted for quite a while as The Stinker, and as Doppelbock before that. I've never gotten as many 1's as I have within just the past year or two. It's been a growing trend. It means that either my skills are degrading, or the bar is being raised here, or the trolls are getting worse.
Callmelennie - March 01, 2014 - Report this comment
Doc, your comment is exactly the reason I brought up the past history of ratings, not only for your own songs, but for The MG song as well -- because it isolates the reason for your receiving 13 "one-bombs" It can't be reasons one or two, because that would mean either, your MGD parody is, by many quantum leaps, your worst parody -- which is many quantum leaps beyond absurd, because it is surely one of your five best efforts ........ Could it be that the bar been raised here by long-time readers and posters ? Well, that would mean that Amiright had one extremely consistent standard for 13 years then suddenly, about a year ago everyone decided that the previous standards were too lenient by many quantum leaps. In other words, we all decided that our previous understanding about what is good work and what isn't was completely deranged. You think that's the explanation? ..... And then there's the distinct possibility that, about a year ago, Amiright drew the attention of some unhinged individuals with a lot of free floating hostility who get their kicks in corrupting the rating process with their absurd onesies. NO! that can't be it, because every time I use overwhelming objective evidence which proves my point beyond any shadow of a doubt to anyone not currently strapped to a padded wall inside a lunatic asylum, they start calling me names!! ... So, to sum up, Doc, maybe it is you
Sabermetrician - March 01, 2014 - Report this comment
As I predicted, when CML pontificates, Oliver's 1's increase. Now 15.
Agreed - March 01, 2014 - Report this comment
Whenever CML shows up and spews, the 1s follow.
Phil Alexander - March 01, 2014 - Report this comment
I'm intrigued by what you think the motives are of someone who downvotes a parody because of comments from another author. It seems utterly brainless and futile to me. So there's someone out there who takes his rewwenge on CML by voting 1s on someone else's parody? Really?

..or is some Sabermetrician making his own predictions come true so he can pontificate, and post extra comments agreeing with himself at just how clever he is at making his own prophesies into realities?
Joey Skaggs - March 01, 2014 - Report this comment
Phil, given the total illogic of this laughable situation, I propose this theory: you are Sabermetrician, Agreed, and some bloke named Phil Alexander. Your only purpose is to have some fun. You're not doing any harm, since Doc's quantity of 1s is already ridiculous. Enjoy yourself. This would make a hilarious parody of "I'm My Own Grandpa." Why don't you give it a try? Cheers.
Too Right! - March 02, 2014 - Report this comment
Joey, I thjnk you hit the nail firmly on the head. When CML and Phil A. show up and add their commentary, 1s seem to jump by quantities of 4-5 in a day. That pattern is just too coincidental. I smell rats. 5s for your logical conclusion.
Phil Alexander - March 02, 2014 - Report this comment
er, wut? Joey, don't be an idiot. I'd argue that the only conclusion which has even part-way rational motives is that whoever is making that connection is also voting the 1s in an intentional effort to stifle comments or people he doesn't like - attempting to make CML and me say "oh, dear, when we make comments, the 1-vote-count goes up, therefore we shouldn't make comments".

..I see this parody's up to 17 1s - I wonder just how many of those have come from the same source? Oh to have access to Chucky's logs
Joey Skaggs - March 02, 2014 - Report this comment
Too Right, you are aptly named. On weekends, especially, we see the culture warriors of the Right cloak their frustrations with a G.O.P. which has suckered them into middle-class stagnation by falsely identifying them as good old boys with good old virtues who should stand with a party that is preaching deregulation, deunionization, deindustrialization, the repeal of every 20th Century reform of the Roosevelt cousins, the ascendancy of globalization, gay-hating, abortion restrictions, anti-affirmative action, guns, NASCAR worship, old-time religion, and all the rest. Once the Middle West populism was liberal: LaFollette, Debs, Humphrey, etc. Then the true red Americans, with help from Limbaugh, Ailes, and David Brooks identified uppity egg heads from the Ivies -- the latte-sucking, internationalist crypto-commies as the enemy. And so the fly-over fools voted for corporate America and "free-market," but became increasingly disenchanted because their 19th Century economic nostrums always failed, resulting in rust belts for the football fans and air and water pollution, courtesy of our philanthropic Koch boys. This moribund site has been taken over by the reactionaries Patrick, CML, and a host of trolls who have attached themselves to their hosts. It is evident in artless parodies and hateful comments and scores. This should keep the blockheads screaming for the rest of the weekend.
Max Power - March 02, 2014 - Report this comment
Another semi-flame war out of nowhere.
8 Ball - March 02, 2014 - Report this comment
It's funny Joey, but I sometimes picture CML as an evil, right wing Charlie Brown who is always complaining about being picked on but who causes disasters wherever he goes. Phil Alexander, OTOH, gives arguments as weak as belly button lint!

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