Can somebody come up with examples of using English grammar in pop culture in "unnatural" way?

What I mean is when grammar is used incorrectly/vaguely, but such usage sounds/looks rather good.

I know, we constantly use grammar wrong because of many reasons, but I am interested in such particular cases, which are well-known to public (pop culture, films, comics, shows, anything). For instance, when wrong grammar was used to avoid copyright issues, or to nitpick opponent, or to make some catchy slogan, and so on.

Few examples to make clearer what I meant.

Back in late 80s-early 90s Sega company created a slogan, which they had been using a lot: "Genesis Does what Nintendon't". It that slogan they pointed out that their videogame console (Genesis) is better than their competitor's one (Nintendo), but also made fun, by mixing "Nintendo" corporate name and verb "Do" in bizarre ungrammatical way (it should be "Genesis Does what Nintendoesn't", isn't it?)


In a 2002-2003, during the pre-production of film "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", director and production company were forced to change a name of one of character - The Invisible Man - to avoid copyright issues. They have changed his name to "An Invisible Man"


P.S. Term "unnatural grammar" I have coined from my native language; I don't know either English has a special word for such concept or not.

  • 1
    It's called wordplay or punning. Right down there with sarcasm as the lowest form of wit, so please don't encourage its use among non-native speakers! Jun 26, 2017 at 17:15
  • I'm not sure grammar is the right term here at all.
    – Lambie
    Jun 26, 2017 at 18:44

2 Answers 2


Here's a fairly famous example

But if you describe it as unnatural, gerbils come to mind...

  • Great! Thank you. It is very nice and accurate example of what I have asked for. And as for "unnatural"-part... well, I don't know hot to describe properly what I am looking for. Maybe terms "non-canonical" or "non-straight" would suit better?
    – Mark
    Jun 26, 2017 at 17:55

In recent years, I have seen this non-standard construction:

X [brief pause] because [brief pause] Y

where X is a statement and Y is a simple noun (or noun phrase) that provides a shortcut by taking the place of an entire explanatory clause. It works when the listener can reasonably be expected to deduce the full meaning from context, prior knowledge, or perhaps a common cultural reference.

It is often used for the purposes of satire and comedy. It can appear lazy, with no effort having gone into proper sentence construction, but the resulting brevity can make it all the more punchy and amusing. For example:

I spend far too much time tidying my house, because, Zoom meetings.
I pay attention to my use of pronouns, because, manners.
There's a bit of a kerfuffle in the UK, because, Boris.

In the first example, without the substitution, the sentence would be something like: I spend far too much time tidying my house because I'm very self-conscious and fear that people will judge me harshly when I'm in Zoom meetings.

Please remember this is non-standard, colloquial usage.

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