Thursday, July 27, 2006

Emo Syntax



One of the most important devices in emo songwriting is that of emo syntax. Sure, saying outright that your girlfriend dumped you is awesome. But... what if you can convey your pain to the listener outside of the restrictions of single gestures? Make the listener think about it, make the emo connection, stretch out their understanding like your ex stretched out your heart and hung it to rot on the clothesline of rejection, slowly festering in the setting sunlight of her abandoned love?

Example: 'Ten Minutes' by the Get-Up Kids:
"Sometimes I miss you more... whenever I'm at home.
I've been home all summer."

See how he doesn't just say he misses his ex, but he sets up being at home as an emo quantifier :'(, and then later tells us just how long he's been heartbroken e. Because the e is communicated by an indirect, familiar variable connected only by prior quantifier association, the impact is increased tenfold.

emo = e + :'(e + k

k = ex-girlfriend's phone number.

That's emo syntax in work!

Another example: 'Neighborhood #2 (Laika)' by the Arcade Fire:
"When daddy comes home you always start a fight, so the neighbors can dance...
Now the neighbors can dance!"

4 Comments:

At 7/29/2006 12:05:00 PM, Anonymous cath said...

Will, we had no idea that maths formulae were your forte.

 
At 7/30/2006 01:33:00 PM, Anonymous pat said...

he did a semester of conditional logic, you know.

it was all like IF/THEN/TRUE/FALSE.

 
At 7/30/2006 03:28:00 PM, Blogger penfold said...

conditional logic rocks.
philosophy rocks.
emo does not rock.
what does emo grass do?

 
At 7/30/2006 06:30:00 PM, Blogger conditionals said...

if/then/true/false and ins.

So, I met the most emo guy at the Hornsby McDonald's drive thru on Friday night:

Him: That's $9.75 thanks.
Me: Here you go.
Him: So, how was your week?
Me: Um, it was alr...
Him: Mine was terrible.
Me: Oh? Well, at least it's the weekend now, right?
Him: (Sighs), it doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymore.
Me: Uh...
Him: These kids at school. They do stuff to me that makes me want to leave.
Me: Er... well, it will all be over soon right?
Him: Huh? Yes... yes it will.

Perchance that wasn't the best thing to say to him. Though possibly better than the other generic response I had in mind: "yeah but one day you'll show them, right?"

 

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