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Stop! Grammar Time!

I’ve been trying—no, really, I have!—to be less judgmental about typos in print. But inevitably I’ll come across something like this: “Both songs, which are among the catchiest in the KISS cannon, still hold up, particularly the former.”

Now, unless KISS stores its songs in a piece of heavy artillery (which would be pretty much on-brand for these guys), the writer probably meant canon*:

canon noun “The body of rules, principles, or standards accepted as axiomatic and universally binding in a field of study or art.”

That’s not quite right, though. By definition, a canon must include works by multiple artists, e.g. the heavy metal canon. So I think what the writer actually intended to convey was oeuvre:

oeuvre noun “The works of a writer, painter, or the like, taken as a whole.”

Yes, yes, it’s perhaps a bit much to use a pretentious French loanword when speaking of a band whose bass player wears “demon makeup…breathes fire…and spits out blood.” But then, a grown man actually reviewed a KISS concert in 2021, so….

*To be fair, homophones, which I’ve written about here and, more recently, here, can trip up even the most careful of writers.



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