Tuesday, June 2, 2015

HOLD YOUR TONGUE, MAN, HOLD YOUR TONGUE:  Stipe spoke to Grantland and Mills spoke to EW in connection with this week's Blu-ray release of R.E.M. by MTV, a damn fine documentary compiling the band's televised and film history from its early days on Nickelodeon to its final studio recording.


  1. Adam B.5:10 PM

    Grammar Rodeo Q: is it "its early days" or "their early days"? I wavered.

  2. This is a place where British and American English differ--in American English a band is a singular entity, whereas in British English a band is a plural entity. Frankly, I refrain from taking either position, but simply go by the band's name itself--if the band has a singular name (e.g., "R.E.M.," "U2"), I'll go with "is," while if the band has a plural name (e.g., "The Buzzcocks," "The Temptations"), I'll go with "are."

  3. The Pathetic Earthling6:24 PM

    I though REM had become pretty uninteresting in its later days, but I must say that I admire them as they seem to have stayed broken up.

  4. bill.9:44 PM

    yes, an American prescriptivist grammarian would use "its." Everyone else is free to go whichever way you want, just be consistent.

    For bands, I break it down by how I define "entity." The more indie and real a band is entity means a collection of people; so I would say "their" if referring to REM through "Green."

    Starting with "Out of Time," in 1991, REM becomes an "its."