Monday, March 05, 2007
Bitchy 'bout Pitchy
I am neither a musicologist, nor a musician, nor a music theoretician. Nor am I a connoisseur of pop culture. However, by background and training I can lay claim to more than a passing knowledge of semantics and diction and syntax and rhetoric, which brings us of course to the topic of "American Idol."
I like Simon Cowell the most because of his acerbic wit and semblance of taste; his capacity for unflinching criticism. I don't much care for Paul Abdul's critiques, but, hey, she's foxy and a champion of the underdog; always willing to encourage. Randy Jackson is the middle ground between "good cop" Paula and "bad cop" Simon, plus he brings a wealth of music industry experience to the role.
But what is it about his use of the word "pitchy," huh, dawg?
I guess Mr. Jackson means something like "wandering away from the desired pitch" or "not adhering to perfect pitch." I don't know. As I said, I am not "the music man." Surely, he is not invoking the sense found in my trusty old Oxford English Dictionary (OED), or even in Merriam-Webster's: pitch-black or tarry.
Unfortunately, if Randy has a problem with a contestant's performance, you are pretty much guaranteed to hear him declare that the performance was "pitchy" in places.
Help me out here. Help Randy out too, okay, folks?
We need some synonyms.
I'm itchin' for some pinch-hittin' for pitchy.
(Well, I never claimed to be any kind of rhymester, buster.)