Ever wonder why Christmas carols get away with language and grammar we’d never use in ordinary conversation? Of course not. You have much better things to do with your time than that, such as dashing through the snow to the grocery store to buy those two dozen rolls your spouse volunteered to take to tomorrow’s company potluck lunch.
But just in case you’re sitting in the waiting room at the tire store while they put snow tires on your car and you need to read something that makes you say, “Hmmm” (besides three-year-old Sports Illustrated magazines), writer Arika Okrent kindly spent way too much time analyzing the language usage in a handful of favorite Christmas songs for the Mental Floss website. Check it out here: “6 Grammar Points to Watch Out For in Christmas Songs.” (Am I the only one bothered by the fact that the preposition “for” is capitalized in the title of an article about grammar? And let’s not even mention the fact that the numeral at the beginning of the title isn’t spelled out. And isn’t the word “Out” unnecessary? But I digress.)
I confess I was a little disappointed that she didn’t even mention “wassailing.” Next time you’re wandering through Target and “God Rest Ye/You Merry, Gentlemen” begins blasting for the eightieth time through the overhead loud speakers, I guarantee you’ll catch yourself listening.