Word Of The Day 5.20.15: AAVE

African American Vernacular English

Proper noun

  1. A variation of Modern English spoken predominately by lower socioeconomic class individuals of African descent, usually in urban or suburban surroundings in the United States.*

“In popular culture, it is largely misunderstood, and thought of as “bad English,” “ebonics” (originally coined in 1973 by someone with good intentions, from “ebony” and “phonics,” but now starting to become a slur), “ghetto talk” (definitely a slur), and the “blaccent” (a portmanteau word of “black” and “accent”) that NPR seems to like using.

Why do I say it’s misunderstood? Because it is emphatically not bad English. It is a full-fledged dialect of English, just like, say, British English. It is entirely rule-bound — meaning it has a very clear grammar which can be (and has been) described in great detail. It is not simply ‘ungrammatical’. If you do not conform to the grammar of AAVE, the result is ungrammatical sentences in AAVE.” – Language Jones

*Source: English Wiktionary

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