16 comments on “Hooked on Ebonics

  1. I guess the DOJ will also get linguists to interpret whatever the f*** language Sarah Palin uses, too. Right?!

  2. Intelligence collection in this country got way out of control long ago. I guess that now, they’ve gone to “shameless”. One may argue that with the state of drug dealership in this nation, every angle needs to be used. Either way – outrageous.

    (don’t know how I gt unsubscribed but, I just “re-subscribed” . . . if that’s a word. lol) Peace.

  3. Is there a difference between Jive and Ebonics? If not, I’m sure Barbara Billingsly could come out of retirement and get the job done.

  4. Ooo! I love learning about languages. Any chance that you could do a post on Ebonics 101 or Jive 101? Jive actually sounds delightfully colorful. In Malaysia, we have also done something to English and it is popularly called Manglish as in mangled English.

    e.g. “Why U so like that?” means “What’s wrong with you?”
    or “That movie was damn shiok” means “That movie was thrilling”
    or “Basket” means “retarded”

  5. I’m a bit of a linguistics nerd and I sort of get this. Now, I’m not exactly an expert on linguistics and I’m sure someone (who will remain nameless) will correct me for not being as informed as I should be, but…

    The way I understand it, languages and dialects are constantly changing. Over time certain words and phrases just evolve into the mainstream and become acceptable forms of expression. So, the notion that ebonics is a language may be tough to take, but it could certainly be considered a dialect and that’s really just a sub-set of a language. That said, I’m not suggesting that government documents be re-written in Pittsburghese (great dialect!) or something. And I’m also not suggesting that the DOJ should have to speak to these folks in Ebonics, but being able to understand them is critical to success. If the DOJ can bust bad guys by using this tool, I’m all for it.

    Ultimately, though, wouldn’t it be nice if speaking correctly were as valued as sounding cool?

  6. What’s odd to me is that ebonics – even though I don’t speak it nor do I care to – is not THAT hard to understand. I listen to people use that kind of language all the time and I don’t need an interpreter. But I guess the feds are just clueless.

  7. Hey Dre,
    I have never been a fan of ebonics. I seriously believe it’s just another attempt by well-meaning liberals to push black people out of the job market while appearing to be sensitive. However, I now see it opens up three career possibilities- Rap artist (odds 1 in 100,000), drug dealer and eventually, prisoner.

  8. Came back to ask folks if they’d ever seen “The Wire” but I see that J.Alex beat me to the punch. The understanding of Ebonics, or street talk, or jive, or whatever flavor you have in mind can be an invaluable tool in the fight against drugs (fight used with the side-eye). “The Wire” is a perfect example of just how difficult it is to understand today’s “language”. As Major Dawg said (as I am a bit of a linguistic nerd as well), consider the word “irregardless”. As much as I hate that word and as much as linguists say to use “regardless” instead, it has, IN FACT, become a recognized part of the English language. For years, I cringed at the sound, still do, but it’s “hard to fight city all”. Ebonics is not a passing fad. Peace.

  9. Where oh where is the edit button? I meant “As Major Dawg said ‘Over time certain words and phrases just evolve into the mainstream and become acceptable forms of expression’ “. Sorry to have misquoted. Peace.

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