Anything Goes
a parody by Mark Kearney
written for the annual meeting of
the Professional Writers Association of Canada
based on the song, Anything Goes, written by Cole Porter


In olden days our English grammar

Was looked on as having glamour

But now, who knows.

Anything goes.


Good writers then could parse our sentences.

Now there's just so much negligence

In their prose.

Anything goes.


Our mother tongue's bad today

And what's sad today

When lie's swapped with lay

Or it's "can" for "may"

And I have to say

That it's not okay

To watch English decompose.


And though I'm not the greatest writer,

I'll take on the role of fighter,

And I'll oppose

Anything goes.


At magazines that misuse commas

Or colons, they break a promise,

So I propose

That they all close.


And all those hacks who like to revel

In language that's Grade 3 level

They must suppose

Anything goes. 


But if it's words you like,

But you don't like like,

When it's, like, you know

Overused and so

It is no bon mot

And it's the death blow

To our English status quo


So when you're using prepositions

Nouns, verbs in your compositions,

Please strike some blows

At anything goes. 

© 2006 Mark Kearney
Mark Kearney's humor has appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including Stitches.
Reach him at:, or through