Why M&Ms?

Back when Van Halen began playing stadium shows, their contract rider famously called for a bowl of M&M’s in their dressing room – with absolutely no brown M&M’s.

This story is often used as an example of rock and roll diva behavior, but the truth is that it was an ingenious safety measure. David Lee Roth explained in his biography that if the band got to the dressing room and found brown M&M’s, they knew that the promoters hadn’t read the rider thoroughly. This tipped off Diamond Dave that the elaborate staging, the electrical system and all of the other technical specifics of the show were also suspect and possibly unsafe.

Bad writing, disregard for punctuation, and general shoddy use of English are brown M&Ms. They tell people you aren’t paying attention, and can’t be bothered to take the time to do a good job. This blog is about loving, using and playing with English–and keeping the rock stars happy.

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