1940, I'm sure he'll shuffle across your path sooner or later|
Posted by 40thStreetBlack, Thu Apr-22-04 01:25 PM
He's a professor of linguistics at Cal Berkley who crossed over into the neocon pundocricy with his social commentary in 'Losing the Race', a book about how black people are behind in American society not because of institutional racism or the lingering after-effects thereof, but rather because we choose to be dumb and not learn in school, listen to rap music and speak broken English. He's loved by white neocons because he's a black intellectual telling them what they want to hear.
The irony being, in his other book where he is strictly addressing linguistics from an objective academic standpoint as opposed to a subjective social commentary (as he is a linguist, not a sociologist), he says that there is in fact no such thing as one set proper "standard" English, that language is fluid and changes with usage over time. So if a word is added to the lexicon, or it's pronunciation or meaning is changed and becomes widespread enough to be commonly understood by speakers of the language, it becomes part of the language. He goes on to add that this is in fact how the English language has evolved from the old pure Germanic Anglo-Saxon to Middle-English to Modern English with the influx of Norse, Danish and Norman French words, grammer, pronunciation etc. into the language.
To which I replied in a previous post about this, I can only imagine what he thinks about the word "bling-bling" being added to the Oxford dictionary last year.
"OK, and yet, if I get out of my chair right now and
beat the shit out of you, then *Iím* the bad guy?"
- Aaron McGruder, exercising a right to be hostile
towards 'Family Circus' hack Bil Keane