Re: Ebonic Plague

Subject: Re: Ebonic Plague
From: BrYan Westbrook <westbrok -at- HSNP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 21:29:19 GMT

On Fri, 20 Dec 1996 13:12:50 -0800, "Tony G. Rocco" <trocco -at- NAVIS -dot- COM>
wrote:

>1) He incorrectly assumes there is such thing as "proper English" when, in
>fact, there is not.

And just what is the basis for this statement of yours? Do we not have
dictionaries (with pronunciation guides)? Do we not have grammar texts?
Whether or not it is ever used there IS correct English and incorrect
English. It should not be considered a virtue to NOT strive towards
improving ones grammar. If we allow this trend to continue, will we one
day be asked to provide documents in ebonics as well?

>learned version of "proper English," but a dialect or variant with its own
>grammar and syntax.

This entire discussion stems from attempts to proclaim an uneducated
dialect as a separate language in an attempt at excusing its use in the
educational and professional world.

>3) He feels no compunction about making racist assumptions and remarks in
>regard to African American culture and language, referring to their unique

I did not bring race into this. Race was an inherent part of the original
debate, and my own remarks were based upon CULTURAL differences. Skin tone
has nothing to do with the fact that African American culture is different
(generally) than that of white America.

>vernacular as somehow a function of being poor, lazy, and on welfare, which
>it is not.

Furthermore, you are trying to distort what I said. Stating that I blamed
this problem on welfare is an outright lie. I never said any such thing.
I blamed "ebonics" on the welfare MENTALITY of refusing to better oneself
while expecting the government to take care of one.

>white people. His post is one of the most offensive and spurious things
>have read on this list.

I find this Oakland proposal one of the most offensive things to anyone who
loves the English language. Standard usage is only boring when one does
not know how to use it well. Boring language is a lack of vocabulary
rather than a lack of divisive dialects.

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