'In da House': Music Industry Gets Its Own Grammar Rules

Guide aims to make songs easier to find
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2013 9:38 AM CDT
'In da House': Music Industry Gets Its Own Grammar Rules
The music business has its own grammar now.   (Shutterstock)

In today's sea of digital music, it can be tough for users to track down just what they want—particularly with all kinds of intentional misspellings, unusual capitalizations, and misleading credits. (Does Dr. Dre really perform on that clip, or was it a user's way of getting more listeners?) In hopes of combating the confusion, the industry has come up with a new book of grammar rules just for the music business, the Wall Street Journal reports. The goal of the Style Guide, unveiled last month at the National Association of Recording Merchandisers' convention: to keep content "easily discovered, correctly presented, and accurately disclosed."

That doesn't mean we'll stop seeing song titles like "In da House" or "It's fo' Realz," however. In fact, both of those titles follow correct capitalization, per the guide: "Intentionally misspelled words must respect the same title casing rules" as correctly-spelled ones. Meanwhile, the ampersand (&) shouldn't be used for most collaborations; it's reserved for acts like Hootie & the Blowfish. And labels shouldn't go overboard on detail—no need to add the word "guitarist" after Jimi Hendrix's name. So, will musicians stick to the guide as they upload songs? A top producer isn't so sure. "Artists are there to break rules," he notes. "That's kind of at the core of rock 'n' roll." (Read more music industry stories.)

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