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Linguistics "Understanding African-American English"

Discussion in 'Social Sciences & Humanities' started by Spang, Jul 11, 2012.

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  1. schmencer

    schmencer banana hater

    Location:
    Michigan
    Since you're so seem so eager for us to brand you a racist, Beancounter, I'm going to just say it: the loser analogy comes across as pretty racist. (I'm not saying you're necessarily being deliberately racist but if you want to take it that way and play the victim, be my guest).
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. jeneticallymodified

    jeneticallymodified Veteran Member

    Location:
    Canada

    i think 'for rent'. probably cos people buy their 'for rent' signs in stores which are based in america.

    things just aren't that clear cut though. making everybody conform completely to the same way of doing things, isn't exactly ideal. you loose out as a result. diversity is responsible for great things.

    of course people shouldn't be encouraged to put all of their dark-chocolate eggs into one basket- especially if it's not a basket that's particularly strong and stable, but there is no reason that kids can't be raised 'bi-dialectal'- able to speak two ways equally well.

    i live in an area with a huge amount of new immigrants, and the kids all learn canadian-english at school, but many go home and speak differently- be it a different mother tongue, or just a community with it's own slang and dialect. those kids have a distinct advantage, in a lot of cases- because they speak 3 or 4 different tongues, they're familiar with different cultural experiences- they can excel in customer care, government, and social-work fields.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Scorpius

    Scorpius The Lizard Queen

    I don't think it's arbitrary at all. I think grammar is important, it can be the backbone of a language.
     
  4. Spang

    Spang Foot Fetisher

    The backbone of any language are its swear words.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  5. schmencer

    schmencer banana hater

    Location:
    Michigan
    Actually, grammar is pretty unimportant for anything but polished/refined conversation. When learning a new language it's most important to focus on vocabulary first, so that you can make yourself understood on some level. Once you've gotten some vocab down you can start learning the grammar. And in the case of Pidgins, people manage to make themselves understood without a formal grammar.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Scorpius

    Scorpius The Lizard Queen

    Well, then I guess bad grammar just bothers me a lot!
     
  7. mlp

    mlp Guest

    This.

    Although I enjoy beautifully put together phrases and sentences, and although I frequently wince internally at how people use and misuse language, I try to avoid correcting others' grammar unless it's part of my job. Not only is it impolite, it sets one up for embarrassment. I regularly see people making all kinds of mistakes in the same posts in which they are commenting negatively on others' language usage.

    BTW, the three years that I spent in Boston were at a time in my life when I was the most accustomed to hearing different accents, and thus had the least difficulty understanding people with heavy accents, and yet I found true Bostonians to be almost completely unintelligible. It's more than an accent; it really is a dialect, with loads of local idiom and phrasing.
     
  8. Scorpius

    Scorpius The Lizard Queen

    Wicked pissah.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within Forum Moderator

    No I am not eager to be branded as a racist.

    Simply acknowledging predictable responses from my years at VB.

    and again To lose and loser are two different things within different context
     
  10. nigel

    nigel Veteran Member

    Location:
    France
    You'd be justified, though.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. schmencer

    schmencer banana hater

    Location:
    Michigan
    Again, feel free to play the victim. And I'm not sure that the distinction between 'to lose' and 'loser' is important here. The issue is that you're categorically calling a group of people 'losers' (or comparing them to losers, whatever) on the basis of a linguistic difference.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. kazyeeqen

    kazyeeqen Superb Owl

    Location:
    Idaho, USA
    I am sooo not hiring you. :no:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. K-II

    K-II Famous Member

    Is it considered wrong to call it ebonics now? Because that is way shorter.
     
  14. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within Forum Moderator

    Can you say anything more constructive than a "me too" comment?
     
  15. beancounter

    beancounter The Fire That Burns Within Forum Moderator

    The distinction is that if they don't learn standard English, it will be harder for them to suceed in life, and I compared that to someone who doesn't practice to improve their game, in which case they are more likely to lose. To call someone a loser is a direct derogotory comment, the intent of which is very different than "to lose", and (based on my early post in this thread) should be obvious that it wasn't my intent.
     
  16. cornsail

    cornsail Renowned Member

    The point is that other grammars aren't "bad" (aside from being non-pragmatic in some circumstances) though. Just different. The reason "standard English" tends to be considered standard/correct is because it happens to be the dialect spoken by the majority, including those with power and influence, not due to some inherent rightness or superiority to other dialects.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. cornsail

    cornsail Renowned Member

    As you said, it is on the basis of a linguistic difference. Not a racial difference.
     
  18. Digger

    Digger Guest

    I'm surprised nobody has posted the Barbara Billingsley scene from Airplane where she speaks 'jive'. They probably couldn't get away with that today (as well as a LOT of other material in that movie) but I thought it was pretty funny at the time hearing June Cleaver speak jive.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. nigel

    nigel Veteran Member

    Location:
    France
    Her jive was poorly constructed.
     
  20. Freesia

    Freesia not my business.

    I didnt know I had a regional accent until when I was in London I met New zealanders but their accents sounded a little different to I talk and finally I met a girl whose accent sounded similar to mine and I found out she grew up not far away from where I did.

    my accent is also tinged with Australian too as I was in Australia for part of my childhood. If I am with any Australians I start subconsciously talking like them, it is like a switch is flipped. I had an Australian accent from when I was about 3 to about age 10.
     
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