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Subject:Re: "they" and a bit of hyperbole? From:Mike Pope <mikep -at- ASYMETRIX -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 1 Jun 1994 15:51:00 PDT
Matt Hicks writes:
>Ah, but unlike "they/them/their", "ain't" has _never_ seen accepted use
>in educated writing (except where it is used to indicate dialectical
>speech), and its accepted forms (aren't and isn't) serve their
>intended purpose without attendant controversy. Neither has "ain't" the
>historical roots of "they/etc.", being first noted (according to my
>sources) only in the late 1700s--centuries, yes, but just barely.
Golly, where is that online OED when you need it? <g> Here's what
AHD has to say about "ain't": "... has a long history ... has by
now acquired such a stigma that it is beyond any possibility of
rehabilitation.". Interestingly and irrelevantly, they go on to say that
"The widely used 'aren't I?', though illogical, was found acceptable
by a majority of the Usage Panel in an earlier survey, but in writing
there is no acceptable substitute for the admittedly stilted
'am I not?'"
While we're on the topic, note the use of passive and caps in the
passage above. <g>