The Critical Eye: Break it down! Stop! Only Time!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Written after listening to the same co-worker’s ringtone ad nauseam.

Dear Enya,

As I understand it, you are a musician, and you are sensitive enough to pronunciation that you spell your name so that English-speaking readers would be inclined to pronounce it as it is in your native tongue. For these reasons, it may be presumed that you are sensitive to accent, meter, and stress.

In fact, you have demonstrated none of this sensitivity. Even a particularly distasteful wart of a child knows that in the phrase “only time,” which not only occurs repeatedly in the lyrics of but also comprises the title of your biggest hit, there are only three syllables, two of which are stressed (viz. “ON-lee TIME”). Of these two stressed syllables, or, should I say, syllables stressed in correct spoken English, neither is the syllable (“ly”) that you accent in the song itself.

I might suggest changing the lyric to “Time only,” which would at least make the final result within the realm of acceptable English.

Please take this into consideration. I await your reply.

Yours,

Bry

I should note that I could’ve liked the song if my exposure to it hadn’t been from tinny cell phone speakers set to repeat.

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