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Slang, result of ignorance or acceptable dialect?


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Old 29-01-2006, 13:37   #81
freddie freddie is offline
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Why would dialect be a product of lack of education? And furthermore... why should the language artificially be held together through a unitarian political regime? Doesn't it make much more sense for language to evolve depending on what the people who lived on certain teritories experienced? Isn't it completely normal that former citizens of the Roman empire who lived on the terriroty of today's portugal would have totally different experiences/influences compared to those who lived on the territory of what is today Italy? Forcing a formal language down people's throats will only make it unpopular and rigid. Like I said: it's not that the formal language per se is redundant - it's vital. But then so are all it's dialects and slangs.They make it richer and more diverse rather than endanger it. No modern language in existance that has at least 1 milion active native speakers and has clear grammar rules can be considered as threatened in the first place, let alone threatened by dialects. All the various slangs and accents that stem from the basic english language are just a testiment of how popular and accepted the language is.
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Old 29-01-2006, 14:03   #82
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But the Italian's dialect are very different respect of Portugal's dialect because The Napoletan or the Milanes were Influenced by the Spanish or German language!!
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Old 29-01-2006, 15:51   #83
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Old 29-01-2006, 17:24   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
[dialects and slangs] make it richer and more diverse rather than endanger it. No modern language in existance that has at least 1 milion active native speakers and has clear grammar rules can be considered as threatened in the first place, let alone threatened by dialects. All the various slangs and accents that stem from the basic english language are just a testiment of how popular and accepted the language is.
no one said they endanger it. but dialects and slangs are two different things. dialects are almost impossible to be formed today, precisely because main languages are so well spread and accepted. slangs, on the other hand, are ignorant versions of the main language for the most part. i don't see them enriching the language in ANY way. neologisms enrich it, new morphological derivates enrich it, but not slangs such as ebonics, ffs! and, again, it's not a matter of endagering the english language (except to maybe those poor black children who are being taught to speak only ebonics by their ignorant drop out parents). it's a matter of a whole country - and i'm referring here to usa - praising this sort of butchered language (which is nothing more than the result of the lack of education). it only takes looking at the american music charts: 50 cent and all his 'homies' rule them. it's outrageous. and to think that music is considered to be art. mumbling grammatically incorrect english over the same rhythmic beats is very far from art. but it's not poor 50 cent's fault. he only does what he knows and what he was taught. it's the people's fault for buying his cd's and praising ignorance. and this in the age when human intelligence is supposed to be at its peak, what with the access to information and education. still, we're singing praises to forms of sheer stupidity. nice. and don't think i'm only referring to hip hop and americans. we have the same phenomenon here: the afore mentioned so-called gypsy 'music' (with the language errors it entails) is the most popular. i fail to understand why.

Last edited by KillaQueen; 29-01-2006 at 17:37.
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Old 29-01-2006, 17:38   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie
Why would dialect be a product of lack of education?
Not always, like i said, a dialect can develop in a specific region with many changes to pronunciation and general morphology without the grammar being butchered.

Things like 'woddya' for 'what do you' are the result of lack of education, no educated person would merge an interrogative pronoun with an auxiliary verb and a personal pronoun because that makes absolutely no grammatical sense. Words with different grammatical functions have to remain seperate for a sentence to keep its grammatical coherence, you can't go merging things anyway you want just because in speech it sounds that way, people who do that were never taught proper grammar.

I could also give a French example of butchered grammar: 'oukilé ?' for 'où est-ce qu'il est ?' in correct French (or 'où est-il ?' in formal French), 'where is he?' in English. The slang form 'oukilé' is a grammatical abomination.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux
slang, dialect, and language is vastly different and probably should be separated into different threads. language is official and dialect is usually a phonetic derivate of an official language. slang is ...refer to dictionary.com or any such source for a definition. i'm not sure what this thread is about really. are we comparing all three? are we talking about ebonics as a dialect? no idea now.
I changed the thread title because some people were complaining that it focused only on Ebonics, but now some people are complaining that it no longer focuses on Ebonics. Some people are never happy.

Ok, the thread title has been changed to 'Slang, result of ignorance or acceptable dialect?', i hope the topic will now be clear enough for everybody.
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Last edited by haku; 29-01-2006 at 18:08.
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Old 29-01-2006, 18:12   #86
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let it be noted that people working in more educated areas (medicine, aviation etc) use their jargon. an example of such slang would be the terms "roger" instead of "i understand what you said/i received your message" (the latter being too long and often misleading in low quality transmissions) and "negative" instead of the simple "no" which was too short and could have easily not been heard or distinguished in bad transmissions.

yet this is not a form of ignorance or a result of poor education. such slangs were used so as to make life easier and more efficient, more productive for people working in the respective fields. which is more than i can say for ebonics or gypsy butchered language.
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Old 29-01-2006, 20:58   #87
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well then again, you have to define what you mean by "education." some people who go to higher institutions aren't necessarily educated.
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Old 29-01-2006, 22:50   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber
Things like 'woddya' for 'what do you' are the result of lack of education, no educated person would merge an interrogative pronoun with an auxiliary verb and a personal pronoun because that makes absolutely no grammatical sense. Words with different grammatical functions have to remain seperate for a sentence to keep its grammatical coherence, you can't go merging things anyway you want just because in speech it sounds that way, people who do that were never taught proper grammar.
Isn't that just speculation, though? How do you know what the reason was for this and other changes? From our point of view it's all relative. It makes no grammatical sense in common british english, but wouldn't you say vulgaric latin had some traits that would be completely innapropriate for classical latin? Lets not even talk about comparison of descendants of vulgaric latin in comparison with classical version - I'd pretty much figure a Roman citized from 100AD would be absolutely horrified listening to Italian or Romanian. He'd probably think he's hearing totally butchered latin. Or lets go even further back for that matter... which one of it's derivatives today would still make any grammatical sense in proto indo-european? I guess the closest thing you'd get to it's original form are the Baltic languages (Lithuanian, Latvian). So by that reasoning... were Baltic people the most educated of teh bunch to retain most ancient grammatical structure of the original language?
Given a natural development (which in this day and age is impossible, since languages are pretty much cemented in their formal form, due to modern advances) dialects and even slang would develop into a proper language of it's own in a few centuries, given the right conditions (political, geographic, social). A language with it's own grammar rules and nothing would seem odd anymore.
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Old 30-01-2006, 19:55   #89
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the way that people talk isn't on a lack of education... i talk like that all the time if im talking to my friends or if im at home with my family i would never talk that way to a teacher or my boss ... i think that most americans (like myself) who talk like that just do it because you can relax and me lazy when your talking to your friends unless the conversation is a dire one. i only talk my "gangster" talk if i ever get harassed by them because they have an issue on how i dress.. to them im a "goth'...that pisses me off so whenever they say sh*t to me i flip out right back at them in teir own slang so they step off... so basically that story was a point of if you ever get in a tight situation like that its good to know how to talk like that....
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Old 30-01-2006, 20:06   #90
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You think the way you talk is your self defence?!

That pretty much proves it isn't a dialect...it's just people trying to sound "hard"
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Old 30-01-2006, 23:34   #91
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i disagree. when it is collective and very much part of a group culture as defensive to outside attacks, it is a dialect. speaking in a such a way also distinguishes the group from other groups.
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Old 31-01-2006, 14:35   #92
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its not my self defence and im not trying to sound "hard" or tough its just the way we talk its is concidered around here a dialect its like a second language...but not, because at sertain times people have to speak it just like if ...lets say you went to mexico... wouldnt it be helpful if you knew spanish? im not really trying to be like "no your wrong and you dont know anything blahh blahh blahh" i really dont care, if people are really bent out of shape about this because they have enough time to sit here and make it a bigger deal than it really is then.. i think you should step out into the world and see that a lot of people from different cultures do it as well and that we dont live in a world that is extremely forcful about how someone talks, the way someone talks expresses who they are and how they feel but if they talked all the same it would be boring and all the same,and no indifference from everyone
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Old 31-01-2006, 15:54   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlesslikeyou
lets say you went to mexico... wouldnt it be helpful if you knew spanish?
The difference is that Spanish is an actual language and the official language of Mexico as well as of many other countries, Ebonics is not the official language of any state as far as i know.

You see, this is where the problem lies, people always compare Ebonics to the official languages of other countries, they are putting a vulgar slang on the same level as litterary languages. The American obssession with the rap 'culture' has transformed a slang into the 'pinnacle of mainstream society' like someone here said, not being able to make a single correct sentence and departing as far as possible from standard English has become the goal to achieve, ignorance is validated and even glorified.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xlesslikeyou
i think you should step out into the world and see that a lot of people from different cultures do it as well
Many people who posted in this thread to criticize Ebonics are European, a continent half the size of North America with over 50 official languages, it only takes a few hours (even a few minutes for some of us) to go to a neighboring country where people speak a different language, in the EU parliament the deputies can speak in 20 different languages, so i think we are quite aware of and open to cultural differences.

However, nowhere else have i seen a vulgar slang being considered the *pinnacle* of society and the finest form of a language, everywhere else a popular slang is just that, a popular slang, an incorrect form of the language that you use in limited circumstances and would never be taught in schools as a valid 'dialect'.
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Old 01-02-2006, 11:46   #94
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oh please. that is a load of shit. the US is far more diverse than europe. in terms of different races and cultures. most of the people in europe are WHITE and while they speak different languages, they mostly derivefrom the latin alphabet. eastern europe languages are more similar to each other, and then romance languages on the western side of europe are similar to each other. yes there are more languages and people live close together, but the US is far more diverse. only when it comes to different RACES. chinese culture is very different from latino culture, which is very different from creole culture. they are more different from each other than french is to british or german.

at least, germans, french, and british are all "white." that is, the same race. their cultures are different YES, i'm not saying they're not, but the difference is BIGGER when it comes to non white races.

and yes, europe isn't the world. it is the western world. try an underdeveloped country sometime. or come to brooklyn sometime. or harlem. try it out. it'd make a good case study.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xlesslikeyou
i think you should step out into the world and see that a lot of people from different cultures do it as well
completely agree.

Quote:
The American obssession with the rap 'culture' has transformed a slang into the 'pinnacle of mainstream society' like someone here said, not being able to make a single correct sentence and departing as far as possible from standard English has become the goal to achieve, ignorance is validated and even glorified.
that's funny. mainstream American culture doesn't accept rap. the media, of course, loves rap. it is far from the pinnacle of mainstream society when rappers and black people are stereotyped in a negative way. it is all bloody apparent when the style and attitude of being thugged out/urban separates people by a very clear line. that is hardly the pinnacle, of anything. it is NOT the goal to achieve. in the business world, nobody speaks that way. neither do people in any other professional area. it is not what people try to speak in most schools, offices, or anywhere else.

it's not some glorified aspect of american culture. i think one state or a group of people tried to get Eminem censored or banned and many were furious when certain "rap" albums came out. how can it be when most of the people who speak that way, aren't middle class. they're not upper class either so how can that be an ideal? most of america is middle class. both upper and middle class americans look down on that kind of culture, much less way of speaking. let's see. is it not an ideal when most of the people who speak that way come from lower class or poor backgrounds. i think new york city is a great example [and no, this isn't some half assed point of pride. this city is very diverse and that is a fact. it is by no means original insight, before someone out there decides to piss on how much i like it] of this, as it is a very diverse city. the differences in status and culture are glaringly apparent on a day to day basis. on the subway, the people who dress neatly and look professionaly stand apart from those who wear caps, baggy jeans, and timbs. also, nobody talks that way professionally. it is a culture, a street phenomenon, and far from ideal. what you're saying is a complete and utter stretch. not to mention blowing the subject out of context and out of proportion.

most of american is conservative. around 70% of america is white, the rest is minority. and in terms of religion, there is also quite a range.

i think this thread is blowing out of proportion what is simply a culture phenomenon. ebonics is not a language, obviously. it is also not a vulgar butchery of proper english. americans don't speak proper english to begin with so if you're going to piss on one particular group, piss on the bigger group, the group that encompasses what a smaller group does. the one that doesn't speak proper english to begin with. so if americans don't speak proper english, and african americans are american, then ebonics is a specific derivative of non-proper american english. singling out a narrower kind of english and labeling it as slang is not fair and certainly not accurate. it is not slang. it is the way a certain group speaks. and it evolves very rapidly, as does american english. in a non biased perspective, ebonics is an evolutionary occurence, that's all. it is closely tied with culture, as language and culture go hand and hand. black people have been here from nearly the beginning of this country's history and from there, a dialect or manner of speaking evolved over the course of a few hundred years. ebonics didn't appear overnight, and it is not something that americans marvel and idealize when african americans in this country are treated unequally and often treated unfairly, despite how american they are. so to state that ebonics is a vulgar distortion is also implying that african american culture is also something not to look up to. if they speak something that is so vulgar? how can their culture be held up high? makes no sense. and it is untrue.




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Old 01-02-2006, 19:19   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lux
mainstream American culture doesn't accept rap.



so very true. In my school they make kids take off rap singer hoodies because it image thats shown by them
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Old 02-02-2006, 17:57   #96
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I fail to see how American English wouldn't be considered "proper" English", since it only really differerntiates from it's british counterparts in dialects and some minor grammatical changes. It's still the same language. And no less proper. If anything American accent is closer to the English the way it was spoken originally in the 17th century in England. So it's more british than british itself, which went through a number of changes later on which weren't followed by the colonies - just like french spoken in Quebec resembles ancient french spoken in villages around big cities. To be honest American english is slowly taking over the mantle of the official english from it's British counterparts - which can clearly be witnessed by such things as British english adopting American words and let it's own fade into obscurity (the word "truck" is a good example, where the british word "lorry" not being used as often, even in British english.)

This whole discussion about what is proper or even what deserves to be proper and what doesn't is skewed imo. We need both: we need formal languages to standardize it into a common form and make it mutually understandable, but at the same time we shouldn't put formal langauges on a piedestal, rating them higher than dialects and slang versions of it. Formal langauges are just a tool to be used, nothing more. A useful tool, of course, but still just a tool. Slang versions and numerous dialects on the other hand are a mark of time, history, cultural and political changes. They give a langauge it's real appeal and staying power.
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Old 03-02-2006, 04:36   #97
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it's not improper english, it is simply not proper. the phonetics are different. slang is drastically different. even if it's a slight deviation from the original language, it is not proper.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:29   #98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber
You see, this is where the problem lies, people always compare Ebonics to the official languages of other countries, they are putting a vulgar slang on the same level as litterary languages.
The problem is that people on this thread think their tastes are the arbitrates of all things language, dialect, and slang.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber
Many people who posted in this thread to criticize Ebonics are European, a continent half the size of North America with over 50 official languages, it only takes a few hours (even a few minutes for some of us) to go to a neighboring country where people speak a different language, in the EU parliament the deputies can speak in 20 different languages, so i think we are quite aware of and open to cultural differences.
It helps of course that you have coexisted with these other cultures for thousands of years, though not entirely peacefully. The second somebody outside of Europe comes in, it becomes a very different picture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber
Things like 'woddya' for 'what do you' are the result of lack of education, no educated person would merge an interrogative pronoun with an auxiliary verb and a personal pronoun because that makes absolutely no grammatical sense. Words with different grammatical functions have to remain seperate for a sentence to keep its grammatical coherence, you can't go merging things anyway you want just because in speech it sounds that way, people who do that were never taught proper grammar.
That isn't a lack of education, that is an accent not limited to Black people.
Or the sound of a person who had too much to drink.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillaQueen
no one said they endanger it. but dialects and slangs are two different things. dialects are almost impossible to be formed today, precisely because main languages are so well spread and accepted.
Dialects are formed when a language is split between two groups. Considering the segregation of the US and how strong it is I would gather that yeah, it is still possible to have dialects these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillaQueen
slangs, on the other hand, are ignorant versions of the main language for the most part. i don't see them enriching the language in ANY way. neologisms enrich it, new morphological derivates enrich it, but not slangs such as ebonics, ffs!
Slang these days in North America are usually formed through pop culture. Though Ebonics is not slang, it is easy to get the two mixed up seeing that Blacks have contributed to 70% of American Pop Culture.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KillaQueen
and, again, it's not a matter of endagering the english language (except to maybe those poor black children who are being taught to speak only ebonics by their ignorant drop out parents). it's a matter of a whole country
It is a matter of the whole country; deterioration of the public education system that is, not Ebonics. About 40% of high school students cannot point out the US in a world map, that is the total population, not just Black people who make up about 13% of the US population. Ebonics is not the result of a lack of education. The sudden exposure to Ebonics is attributed to the fact that people, all people, are not being sufficiently taught the Standard English in schools among other things. Whether black people learn Standard English or not, Ebonics will still survive among Black people so long as segregation is still in the US.

With the level of outrage of the "miseducation" of Black people through Ebonics, I'm surprised nobody has even touched upon segregation. If you guys really did care about the Black people in the States where's your outrage over this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillaQueen
it only takes looking at the american music charts: 50 cent and all his 'homies' rule them. it's outrageous. and to think that music is considered to be art. mumbling grammatically incorrect english over the same rhythmic beats is very far from art. but it's not poor 50 cent's fault. he only does what he knows and what he was taught. it's the people's fault for buying his cd's and praising ignorance. and this in the age when human intelligence is supposed to be at its peak, what with the access to information and education. still, we're singing praises to forms of sheer stupidity. nice. and don't think i'm only referring to hip hop and americans. we have the same phenomenon here: the afore mentioned so-called gypsy 'music' (with the language errors it entails) is the most popular. i fail to understand why.
Ok, so now we're talking about Hip-Hop? Pointing to 50 Cent as proof Rap sucks is just about the equivalent of me pointing to Ashley Simpson and proving the Rock 'n Roll in its entirety sucks. People like Ashley Simpson, Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and their ilk ruined R'n R becuase their songs are fluff. Rappers like 50 Cent and his ilk ruined Hip Hop ever since they started glorifying violence, misogyny, and homophobia; not because of their use of Ebonics. I think its safe to assume that even if Hip-Hop artists rapped in the Standard English (which they once did) you still wouldn't considered it art.

Ebonics is a dialect that has a grammatical system based in Creole (which is the fixed hybrid of two or more languages). Furthermore the grammatical stucture is similar to the grammatical stucture found in West African languages (Wolof, Twi, Hausa, Yoruba, Dogon, Akan, Kimbundu, Bambara, etc):

1. Present progressive: He runnin (=Standard English "He is running" or "He's running")

2. Present habitual progressive: He be runnin (=SE "He is usually running")

3. Present intensive habitual progressive: He be steady runnin (=SE"He is usually running in an intensive, sustained manner."

4. Present perfect progressive: He bin runnin (=SE "He has been running")

5. Present perfect progressive with remote inception: He BIN runnin (=SE "He has been running for a long time, and still is")

"bogus" from Hausa boko, meaning deceit or fraud.
"cat" from the Wolof suffix -kat, which denotes a person.
"dig" from Wolof dëgg or dëgga, meaning "to understand/appreciate".
"hip" from Wolof hipi, meaning "to be aware of what is going on".
"honky", a derogatory term for a white person, may come from Wolof xonq, meaning red or pink.

For more examples you can check it out here.

PS: Not to be a bother but I really don't like the title of this thread. Though I don't like Ebonics being the centre of attention (because really, it seems that anything Black people do is scandalous) clearly it is but this isn't the issue. Saying "Slang, result of ignorance or dialect" is implying that Ebonics is slang and that to say it is a dialect is to be arguing on the fringe. As well, giving the option of stating it is a result of ignorance grossly tips the balance, giving more credit to the argument that it isn't a dialect. So the people arguing for Ebonics have to argue against two things now.
I think we were better off with the first title; "Ebonics: Slang or Dialect."

Last edited by PowerPuff Grrl; 03-02-2006 at 11:06.
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Old 03-02-2006, 10:59   #99
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yes. applause.

Quote:
Many people who posted in this thread to criticize Ebonics are European, a continent half the size of North America with over 50 official languages, it only takes a few hours (even a few minutes for some of us) to go to a neighboring country where people speak a different language, in the EU parliament the deputies can speak in 20 different languages, so i think we are quite aware of and open to cultural differences.

the origin of africans in this country is an unnatural one. the first americans brought them over out of desire to make profit. most were brought against their will or tricked to be used as living tools in a foreign land that could be discarded. they weren't treated as human beings (and far from it). the nature of african americans and the way they speak has alot to do wtih slavery because of a few things. the africans who first came over differed in culture and language. there was a diverse range of them, as they came from different tribes and areas in africa. since they did not speak the same language, they had to come up with a common way of speaking so they can communicate. because they spoke different things, they derived a common linguistic medium for communication by deriving it from english, the only thing spoken around them. culturally, what emerged had much influence from the different cultures and peoples speaking it.


on a larger spectrum, with language on one end and slang on the other, dialect falls somewhere in the middle. language has an official written form, while dialect is not. neither is slang. but take cantonese for example. it is a dialect, despite its complexities. it is derived from chinese and is spoken by a large group of people. ebonics is similar but not quite as established because people confuse it with slang specific to a culture. also, since is it is looked down on, it lacks legitimacy that would otherwise solidify it as an actual dialect.
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