Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Love You Taylor, but the Evidence Seems to Suggest Otherwise...

In Taylor Swifts, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" it seems like we are given instances that are supposed to function as reasons why Taylor is never ever getting back with her ex. I'm sure whoever she is addressing in this song seriously f'd up (I still don't know how you could ever hurt the wonderfully lovely Taylor Swift!), but the evidence that Taylor provides us doesn't seem to support her claim that they are never getting back together. 


Throughout the song, Taylor provides us with examples of mistakes that her ex-partner has made. These examples are meant to serve as reasons why Taylor is never getting back together with her ex. However, as the chorus suggests, each example seems to end with Taylor and her ex actually getting back together! That is, regardless of the mistakes that were made, Taylor still wound up getting back together with her ex.

Consider the following lines (all emphasis are mine): 
  • "I remember when we broke up the first time
    • Her saying 'the first time' seems to imply that this has happened at least more than once...
  • "Then you come around again and say, 'Baby, I miss you and I swear I'm gonna change. Trust me.' Remember how that lasted for a day"
    • The fact that this change in her ex lasted for a day indicates that she gave her ex another chance and it didn't turn out as she had planned. It seems implausible that she watched her ex go through this "change" from outside of the relationship (I don't know why it would make her so mad otherwise...).
  • "Oooh we called it off again last night" 
    • 'Again' means this has happened more than once. So, in order for Taylor and her ex to call off their relationship again, they would have to have gotten back together after the first time they broke up!
  • "I'm really gonna miss you picking fights, and me, falling for [it] screaming that I'm right."
    • Here she actually just flat-out says that she has fallen for this before! Come on T-Swift...
(http://www.directlyrics.com/taylor-swift-we-are-never-ever-getting-back-together-lyrics.html)

As the explanations above demonstrate, we are not given evidence for the claim that Taylor and her ex are never getting back together. Rather, it seems like we are being told a story of how they are continually getting back together after predictable mistakes were made. Given the prior history of Taylor getting back together with her ex (and ignoring the problem of induction!), it seems like, contrary to the claim that she wishes to support, they will eventually be getting back together.

This is why argumentation and knowing how to provide support for your claims is important! Without it you may wind up providing other people with reasons to believe the opposite of what you're trying to convince them of. For example, you may leave a poor, pop-obsessed, procrastinating, short, bearded, philosophy student from Minnesota (who now thinks Taylor is single and never ever getting back together with her ex!) unfairly waiting for his shot to show Taylor what love could be; when actually, she's just going to eventually take back her ex anyway and break your heart again just like she did when you thought the song "You Belong With Me" was about you! Again, just an example... (I still love you Taylor. And even though you've continually led me on and hurt me in the past, I'd still cherish the opportunity to show you what love is by welcoming you into my life. Wait...).

Oh, one last thing: if Taylor was certain that her and her ex were never getting back together, I'm not sure she would need to say that they were 'never ever' getting back together. That is, I think just saying 'never' would suffice; the addition of 'ever' seems to suggest some uncertainty (I am reminded of the quote from Act III Scene II of Shakespeare's Hamlet: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks.")

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