More distortion

This is the sort of thing commentators mean when they talk about the continuing distortion of African-American life in this country. I wrote a personal response to this person which will most likely be ignored. I just wish there were intelligent discussion of these issues among language teachers, but they are so obsessed with being correct and being right that they jump on any opportunity to demonstrate their superiority over others. “Crib” for “home” indeed. That’s insane. Who uses “crib” except speakers of A-A English and White kids who buy most of the rap music?
I thought this was an excellent article.  I just finished up working on a
project that surveyed participants regarding the usage of Ebonics.  Almost
all of the participants decried its usage as they believe it is eroding
Standard American English, is not “correct” and is promoting a lower socio
economic gangster lifestyle.  Our participants prefer to hear it in rap
songs or comedy bits only as they want to preserve SAE.  After reading your
attached article,
I thought that Americans quite sounded like the British author of the
article.  Our participants denounced the exchange of correct words like home
for slang words like crib.  Additionally, participants felt that some
younger Americans were gravitating to that ghetto type of language.  Its
nice to see that Brits feel the same way.  Is there anyway to incorporate
new expressions or words without losing our old ones?

My response:


Besides containing a good deal of misinformation and distortion, your post uses a popular word, Ebonics, to label a variety of American English linguists call African-American Vernacular English or Black English/Dialect for short. Ebonics is used to evoke the old (1994) Oakland controversy and to mischaracterize the speech of many African-Americans. There is a ton of books written on the topic; I would recommend John McWhorter as a linguist who also comments on African-American issues. He works for the Manhattan Institute and so can hardly be described as a liberal. But since he writes as one of the world’s experts on the continua of language varieties engendered by the
Afro-Atlantic slave trade and as a critic of current African-American life style, I would suggest reading him for a different perspective on the influence of this variety you call Ebonics.

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