Tuesday, June 01, 2004


Comedian Bill Crosby has aimed his wit at political correctness before. See his "essay" on "Igno-ebonics". An excerpt:

"If teachers are going to legitimize Ebonics, then all authority figures who interact with children-such as law-enforcement officers, will have to learn it as wll. In fact, the consequences of a grammatical accident could be disastrous during a roadside encounter with a policeman. The first thing people ask when they are pulled over is: "Why did you stop me officer?" Imagine an Ebonics-speaking Oakland teenager, posing that same question Ebonically, would begin by saying: "Lemme ax you." The patrolman, fearing he is about to be hacked to death, could charge the kid with threatening a police officer. Thus, to avoid misunderstandings, notices would have to be added to driver's licenses warning: "This driver speaks Ebonics only." Since people with driver's licenses tend to drive, what happens when an Ebonics-speaking youth drives into another state? Kids who speak Oakland Ebonics would be impossible to decipher. Consider the following phrase: "I am getting ready to go." Even before Ebonics, Southern people changed the way they announced their imminent departure by saying: "I am fixing to go." Ebonically schooled Tennessee kids, however, would declare: "Ima fi'n nah go." Meanwhile, depending on your geographic locale, that same idea would be expressed a variety of ways, such as: "Ima go now," or "I be goin' now," or the future imperfect "Ima be goin' now."

If Ebonics is allowed to evolve without any national standard, the only language the next generation would have in common would be body language"

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