October 14, 2013


Sufjan Stevens Writes Open Letter to Miley Cyrus, Corrects Her Grammar

Getty Images, 2
Getty Images, 2

We would have never taken Sufjan Stevens for a Miley Cyrus fan, but Kanye West is a Miley Cyrus fan, so it seems anyone can fall victim.

The "Illinoise" singer took to his blog to write Miley an open letter (because all the cool kids are doing it), and he started out by praising one of Miley's Bangerz bangers, "#GETITRIGHT." He loves the song, but there's just one small problem: the grammar.

He wrote, "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.'"

Stevens continued, "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."

He ended the letter with a characteristically Sufjan-y Sufjanism—"Live brightly before your fire fades into total darkness"—but we have to say we're on Miley's side on this one. While we appreciate the shout-out to the oft-misused perfect present continuous tense, Miley has a little something called creative license. Second of all, we have a much bigger problem with the "Z" in "Bangerz"—let's choose our battles wisely.