Quiz: Taylor Swift or Jonathan Swift?
As Taylor Swift’s music video for her single “Shake It Off” goes viral, one question coming up on the Internet over and over again is whether or not it succeeds as a satire. Having previously received criticism about her dancing skills, the video follows Swift as she attempts ballet, break-dance, contemporary dance, rhythmic gymnastics, cheerleading, Lady Gaga-inspired weirdness, and (of course!) twerking, to varying degrees of humorous ineptitude. Satirizing the bland predictability of most pop music videos, Swift ends the video by dancing with a group of fans instead of with her range of dance troupes.
Given the question of satire, we thought that it might be fun to compare Taylor to her eminent satirical forbear – Jonathan Swift – probably the most famous satirist in the history of English prose. Take the quiz below to see if you can tell the two Swifts apart!
Several of the Jonathan Swift quotations are taken from the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, which is available on Oxford Reference. You can explore more quotations in Oxford Essential Quotations, which is freely available on Oxford Reference.