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McWhorter on Reid on "Negro dialect" Login/Join
 
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John McWhorter has given a linguist's take on Harry Reid's recent comment concerning Obama's language.
quote:
It’s a love/hate relationship we have with black speech. On the one hand we associate it with emotional honesty, vernacular warmth, and sex – Marvin Gaye would not have had a hit with “Why Don’t We Venture to Consummate Our Relationship?” or even “Let’s Have Sex” instead of “Let’s Get It On.” Yet it’s not a dialect – a sound – that we associate with explaining Greek verbs or cosines or engaging in complex reasoning. Black English sounds cool, and even hot, and maybe “sharp” – but note that sharp is what you call someone who you wouldn’t necessarily expect to be smart ... and who you don’t actually think is all that smart.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Very nice, z.

It is a touchy subject. I remember during the OJ Simpson trial, when a witness said he could tell the the person yelling was black, outwardly I reacted to that comment and called it racist. Inwardly, though, I thought to myself, "Yes, I could see that." I just didn't want to admit it, hypocrite that I am.
 
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