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April 11, 2013
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@AnWulf - there is a growing moving amongst, let me be PC here now, "lower socio-economic status groups" to speak in this manner. Perhaps it first began as improper English derived from a lack of education, but the 'African American Vernacular' has spread like wildfire to the point that it is now almost a "second language". I did not believe this myself until I worked in predominantly "black" schools. I believe speaking with a dialect or accent is a big part of your cultural identity. It can also be charming. For example, even though I am "white" and grew up in the "educated" suburbs of Houston, Texas, my parents still said "y'all" and "fixin' to". I still say those things today and it is a part of my heritage as a Texan. However, we were also taught that this is not proper English at school and should only be used in a less formal setting with your family or friends. When you are at a professional or formal function, using proper English is desire- like on the News, they speak in Standard American English and avoid slang. However, nowadays at my job, people use the vernacular at work around the children. We have a state test that is not written in the vernacular. Children must know standard English to pass this test, and speaking to the children with the vernacular does them a great disservice. However, you can't say anything because everyone will say you are racist.
I never heard it until I began working in predominantly African American schools in California and Texas. I'm a music teacher, and I am also a "white" person. I was raised on the other side of Houston in the Clear Lake area, which is known for aerospace industry (NASA) and most parents are well educated. We were taught strict grammar rules and my mom was also a Reading teacher so I wasn't let off the hook! It seems very strange to me beause you can say On Monday, On Tuesday etc. all the way to On Saturday, but "Today", "Yesterday", and "Tomorrow" are not actual days of the week in the same vein as MTWThFSaSu! They are terms to describe the present, past, and future. Putting "On" in front seems redundant to me as well. I cringe when my predominantly African American co-workers (including my boss) use this on the morning announcements and at "professional" staff meetings. But, in this PC society, you can't say anything or you are an instant "racist" especially since I'm white as a lily. 'Tis sad, indeed. Maybe I should just start speaking ebonics to fit it around here: I's a-gon aks deez co-workers to speak good 'anglish, but den dey fixin' to say I's a racist! ;)
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