I have seen the question Proper usage of “is” and “are” when specifying multiple nouns, but it is a different questions than what I am asking.

I have two examples (both from songs) of "is" being used that doesn't quite sound right when sung out loud. I would like to know if these songs are correct in their grammar, or not.

The first is the song "Are You Not Entertained?" by A Broken Silence. The line is question is:

Are you not entertained? Of course you is.

And the second song is "I Am Not Done" by Rob Bailey and the Hustle Standard. The line in question is:

This is not the pain talking, this is called facts.

I know these are specific examples, but they are pretty unique and I couldn't figure this out on my own.

Thanks for the help.

  • 3
    Lyrics from popular songs often use non-standard dialect variants. So they frequently sound different from textbook English. This is normal. English has a lot of non-standard dialects, and that's where popular music mostly comes from. – John Lawler Jul 26 '16 at 20:44
  • Good to know. Why do you specifically say "popular" songs, rather than just songs? And even knowing that, what would be the textbook way to say the lines in question? – Sponge Bob Jul 26 '16 at 20:47
  • Of course you are. These are called facts. – GoldenGremlin Jul 26 '16 at 20:49
  • FWIW, this happens a lot in English particularly with regards to "There is…" and “There are…”. Here is some information on that: <quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/…>. – David Eldridge Jul 26 '16 at 21:50

Both lyrics correctly feature intentionally incorrect grammar, (which lends a certain emphasis), also known as:

Enallage \Enal"lage\, n. [L., fr. Gr. ? an exchange, fr. ? to exchange; ? in + ? to change.] (Gram.) A substitution, as of one part of speech for another, of one gender, number, case, person, tense, mode, or voice, of the same word, for another. [1913 Webster]

Pop songs lyricists have often employed enallage for memorable contrasts, e.g.: Louis Jordan's Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby (1944), Frank Zappa's You Are What You Is, etc.

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