The Boy Least Likely To on KCRW

It’s taken me awhile to come around to The Boy Least Likely To for one seemingly trivial (some might call it “anal”) reason: The group’s name drives me batty.

You see, I’m a copy editor, so I can be kind of obsessive-complulsive when it comes to grammar. The Boy Least Likely To commits a cardinal grammar sin: Almost never should you end a sentence in a preposition. Seriously. The boy least likely to … what? The boy least likely to fly? The boy least likely to sing? The boy least likely to poop? Something. Give me something! Argh! It reminds me of the Sunny Day Real Estate album How It Feels to be Something On. Oh, what would Strunk and White say?

Well, grammar misstep aside, I’m quickly warming up to the group’s wistful and refreshing tunes; Be Gentle With Me is priceless. Plus, they are YANP-approved, so you know they’re good. And I was pleasantly surprised to hear the guys in the group name-drop Son Volt among their current favorites.

The Boy Least Likely To, on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, 4/6/06:

1. Hugging My Grudge
2. I See Spiders When I Close My Eyes
3. Papercuts
4. My Tiger My Heart
5. Monsters
6. The Battle of the Boy Least Likely To
7. I’m Glad I Hitched My Apple Wagon to Your Star
8. Be Gentle With Me
9. Fur Soft As Fur

20 thoughts on “The Boy Least Likely To on KCRW”

  1. I’m so glad to see someone mention the dangling preposition. I can actually tolerate this one fairly well, but it drives me insane that people do it so often. “Where are you going to meet me at?” NO NO NO NO NO!

  2. I like the intentional dangling preposition. There are times for formality, and there are times that it is more interesting/provoking to play with language.

    I often use “where is the bathroom at?”, knowing full well that it is grammatically incorrect. However, in some circumstances, the cultural signals of a manipulation like this are more important than precise grammar.

    “Excuse me, I am seeking direcions to the loo, and I am curious to know if you might assist me.” Would that sound right at a hip-hop show or in a gas station?

    Let vernacular language be…

  3. Ad, I agree … to a point. Written language is always more formal than spoken. But is it interesting or wasteful to add a superflous “at” at the end of a sentence?

    Also, I wouldn’t really let the environment or my surroundings dictate how I speak. If I was at a hip-hop show, I’d probably just say, “Where’s the bathroom?”.

    That said, I’m sure The Boy Least Likely To was meant to provoke. And it worked on me.

  4. Grammar usually drives me nuts too, but I kinda like that name. It leaves you in suspense.

    What I can’t stand is that Beatles (Paul McCartney?) song that says, “This crazy world in which we live in”—UGH.

  5. Its amazing posts like these that make me glad I visit blogs so much!

    Btw, I am actually featuring these guys for the letter B on a featurette I am starting on my blog Great Body of Water called Bands A to Z and Everything In Between.
    Check it out and leave some tips/feedback for me if you wish!

    Thanks for the amazing tracks again!

  6. I agree with your comment regarding written vs. spoken language.
    I suppose I like the nuances of ‘improper grammar’ when it is spoken in the appropriate cultural circumstances.
    You wouldn’t catch me raising children with that same disregard for grammar, however.

  7. hey thanks alot. if you also put up calexico’s performance on kcrw from this week it would be greatly appreciated. thanks for all the other great live stuff. this has become my one stop blog for all the great live recording of late

  8. See, that is the point that dangling perposition makes: ambivalence. What exactly is this boy least likely to? 😉

    Great, grgeat band – thanks for the effort.

  9. I may be splitting hairs here, and I might also just be wrong, but… I think the “to” in the band’s name is not technically a preposition. It is actually one half of an infinitive verb. As in “to succeed” or “to fail.” A preposition would typically be followed by a noun (e.g., “hand that record to me”). It doesn’t really matter. You’re not supposed to split infinitives either.

    Thanks for posting these songs.

  10. Um…

    I always thought it was a Morrissey reference, and therefore the grammar (or otherwise) was completely irrelevant.

    that said – i’ve only just discovered this blog, and I like it.

  11. Um…just so you know, the rule that says you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition is, in fact, a late-nineteenth-century bullshit proscription by linguists who had a fetish for Latin grammar. Unfortunately for them, English is a Germanic language. Therefore it’s perfectly correct to end an English sentence with a preposition. There’s no good reason not to.

    Another editor

  12. It will never annoy me as much as Chemical Brothers w. Noel Gallagher, singing ‘Let Forever Be’…

    “How does it feel like, to wake up in the sun”


  13. Isn’t “The Boy Least Likely To” a sentence fragment? If it is, then “to” may not be a preposition at all…

  14. Well, as a long-time English teacher, and fellow grammar nerd, I have to take exception to your complaint about the dangling preposition. “The boy least likely to” is not a complete sentence, and therefore can’t have a dangler. This is more of a fill-in-the-blank-with-your-own-idea-of-what-this-boy-is-least-likely-to-do situation than a I-don’t-know-how-to-compose-a-sentence situation.

    Also, FYI to another poster, the “to” in the infinitive form of a verb is actually a preposition. In fact, the infinitive form of a verb does not function as a verb at all, but as a prepositional phrase acting as a noun (usually a direct object of a verb)! Example: I love to drive. Subject/Noun: I; Verb: love; Direct Object/Prepositional Phrase/Noun Phrase: to drive.

    Anyone confused?

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