Comments: It's Poppin! Ah man, the building is on fire! [Bumped]

Why is this person getting attention? Illiterate, cant speak Standard English

Posted by pkerot at January 12, 2016 4:47 PM

Illiterate? She is in absolute command of the language and the moment. What a refreshing change from the insipid, painful-to-watch average "on scene" interviews that plague TV news. One of the greatest news sound bites of all time. The whole story -- disruption of routine, surprise, danger, escape; even the weather (cold) -- told entertainingly and economically. What a hoot! I've been a journalist for over 50 years and this just beats them all.

Posted by Ralph Kinney Bennett at January 12, 2016 7:33 PM

Well, um, OK. Those tribal dialects are interesting.

Posted by chasmatic at January 12, 2016 8:36 PM

If her words didn't communicate, dem eyes shonuff did.

Posted by BillH at January 13, 2016 7:00 AM

Get that woman her own HBO comedy special!!

Posted by leelu at January 13, 2016 7:17 AM

Well, there's this woman and then there are tens of thousands more who are just like her and worse and 'dey all get checks from the gubmint.

When I see this kind of crap I'm embarrassed to be an American.

Posted by Jack at January 13, 2016 8:31 AM

Sure those tribal dialects are interesting; embarrassing, too, perhaps; but, there you are; an unvarnished slice of life, into which you can read many things.

Posted by Ralph Kinney Bennett at January 13, 2016 9:56 AM

I found her presentation hilarious. She really enjoyed being on camera! And yeah, you guys, I noticed that her appearance and diction were not upper middle class white.

Posted by pbird at January 13, 2016 10:57 AM

Just curious:

Anybody here besides me and chas ever lived among these types?

Posted by Rob De Witt at January 13, 2016 1:09 PM

Yeah, Rob, I have. Males, when in the army, and in concrete construction in the early 70's, males again.

In the early 90's I was involved in the downtown redevelopment of a "disadvantaged" part of the community I lived in and had the opportunity to go right into the (gov't) dwellings while they were living there and it was something else to see how some people live.

They were living at a level that most normal people can't imagine, and quite frankly I don't think they were capable of living any other way.

They could win a $100mil lotto today and in a year they'd be right back where they started.

I engaged a few of the males and females in conversation and they drew me down to their *level* so I had to leave as the whole thing seemed like a weird comedy or something, very strange.

**I could tell right away, as soon as the conversation began, that I was not conversing with normal people. They seemed mostly harmless, but I got the same vibe as if I was speaking to children or teens or something.

Hard to explain, and it was a long time ago.

And then, there's the visuals, of engaging with people that don't look anything like you, or anybody else either. In a way it's like speaking to a horse or something, not quite real seeming.

Posted by ghostsniper at January 13, 2016 2:05 PM

@ ghost "In a way it's like speaking to a horse or something, not quite real seeming."

If I get another horse (very unlikely) would you teach it to speak? :)

Posted by Terry at January 13, 2016 2:13 PM

Me too Rob. Semi-retired to the deepest south 40+ years ago. Worked for years as a consultant in low-income housing redevelopment, among other things. Counties and towns you would recognize in connection with '60s civil rights stuff. I echo everything ghost said.

Posted by BillH at January 13, 2016 2:23 PM

Horse: The ultimate all-terrain vehicle.
I'd like to have 4 big fancy paints.

Posted by ghostsniper at January 13, 2016 7:45 PM

Personality is the outward appearance and actions.

Character is the Inside Job, the foundation of every one of us.

My foundation is solid rock, (The Rock of Ages).

I deal from my foundation and adjust whatever I must when encountering others. I am not intimidated by folks that look different than me and I always watch the hands. Smiles don't kill, hands do.

Posted by chasmatic at January 13, 2016 8:58 PM

Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.

Posted by chasmatic at January 14, 2016 10:50 AM

...I always watch the hands. Smiles don't kill, hands do.

I'm with you on that one. When I was a white boy in Oakland I was regularly hustled on the street, in pool halls, etc. I'd watch eyes; when they saw that I was watchin 'em look to see whether they were gettin over, they'd generally find a way to look for another chump.

DAMN, it's a buncha stupid white people around. They might as well get "Victim" tattooed on their foreheads.

Posted by Rob De Witt at January 14, 2016 11:15 AM

Rob, if you want to hear dialects of those sorts, just listen to the college football players during a post-game interview. Talk about illiterate.

Posted by Vermont Woodchuck at January 14, 2016 1:46 PM

I love this simple, honest, concerned, accurate 31 second extract.
See 'Word on the Street' by John McWhorter. Among other topics, he explains Black English [~Ebonics] as a systematic dialect of 'Standard' English with its own specific grammatic rules, Scotch-Irish derivations,... and slang. At Amazon you can read excerpts by clicking on 'Look Inside,'Part 3 Sections 6-7-8.
Up your education!

Posted by Stug Guts at January 15, 2016 4:04 PM

I'd rather read fortunes in buckets of dried whale dung.

Posted by ghostsniper at January 15, 2016 7:41 PM

See 'Word on the Street' by John McWhorter. Among other topics, he explains Black English [~Ebonics] as a systematic dialect of 'Standard' English with its own specific grammatic rules, Scotch-Irish derivations,... and slang.

That's a howl. McWhorter is the perfect illustration of the clueless ofay who's never gonna be anything but mystified by black people; it's like a parody in a '30s movie. Trying to explain an alien culture in terms of your limited understanding of your own culture is the kind of thing that leaves black folks in helpless hysterics. That's the kind of white guy who can't jump, can't dance, and has no soul.

Ya just gotta listen, and submerse yourself in it. You'll hear it eventually, if you're lucky before somebody kills you.

Posted by Rob De Witt at January 15, 2016 10:00 PM

Doubtful most intelligent people are concerned with such things Rob, I mean, really, what's the point in learning about a subculture with nothing to offer?

Frankly, I find just about everything to do with that entire race to be mostly filthy, nasty, criminal, self troublesome, and an abomination, and I see no value or use in any of it. It is the worst thing to happen to this country, and perhaps the entire planet, and always will be as long as it exists.

Those that pull their weight, no matter their skin color, should stay, but all freeloader criminals need to be eviscerated entirely and I don't really care how.

Similarly, I don't really care what the trash guys do with it after the pick up the bags at the end of the driveway. Be off with ye. Vamoose!

Posted by ghostsniper at January 16, 2016 4:53 AM

Vamoose is dialectic ghost. LOL. But what dialect. Are you making a funny about Spanish?

Posted by pbird at January 16, 2016 8:06 AM

"McWhorter is the perfect illustration of the clueless ofay who's never gonna be anything but mystified by black people."

There's some cluelessness illustrated in this assertion, but it doesn't belong to McWhorter.

Posted by baldilocks at January 16, 2016 11:14 AM

There's some cluelessness illustrated in this assertion, but it doesn't belong to McWhorter.

Nicely put, baldi, but I stand by my "assertion." I know you're black and all, but at 70 years old in a life spent pretty close to the ground, I claim the right to notice that very few of the black folks I've known would have any recognition of the tangled syntax employed by a sheltered academic in trying to characterize "Ebonics."

John Hamilton McWhorter V is "black" in the same sense, and to the same degree, that Barack Obama is - raised by liberals, carried about on a silk pillow since childhood, and augmenting his entitlement with assumed "victimhood" in the current culture of race-guilt.

And his "linguistics" lectures (TED? Really?) are for the pure purpose and intention of making college-educated white kids feel like they're informed.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

Posted by Rob De Witt at January 16, 2016 1:33 PM

RDW, among McWhorter's purposes is education. Education demands experience and/or talented teacher, accurate pertinent information offered, and capable student willing to learn.
McWhorter fulfills the first two conditions. Perhaps you and I can fulfill the third condition.

The Blacks you say you know may have little need to know the linguistic details of the dialect they speak naturally, easily and understandably to others in their community. That their dialect use in the larger community limits them, is a totally different kettle of cuttlefish.
Today's Standard English could just as well be considered a dialect of older forms of English. So what?
Times, cultures, attitudes change for the better and for the worse.
The truth of your assertions regarding McWhorter's cultural biases, pure purpose and intention, have NOT been demonstrated.

Posted by Stug Guts at January 16, 2016 2:38 PM

Well, lessee.....

In no particular order, I will stand by my view that TED lectures are in fact NOT for the purpose of education, but an easily-assimilated form of Bumpersticker Wisdom. They don't educate, they give people the opportunity to feel "better-informed." Further, Linguistics as a discipline has primarily provided cover for proto-Marxist frauds like Noam Chomsky, and McWhorter's syntax offers no indication that he's any different.

George Stevens (remember him?) was real proud of his erudition too.

What else.......Of course it's true that the embrace of dialect instead of Standard English is a self-limiting choice vis-a-vis the "larger community" (or to be more accurate, "middle-class white society",) but as you so pithily put it, "So what?" (And what exactly do you think people like John McWhorter are doing to alleviate that difficulty by lecturing self-impressed upper-middle-class whites?)People who talk like the woman in the example video self-evidently couldn't care less about being acceptable to middle-class whites, and certainly within the current cultural context who could blame them?

Your argument seems to be that those who consider their own language to be superior (and that shoutingly obviously includes McWhorter) are "on the wrong side of history." Unnoticed is your assumption that anybody who thinks McWhorter is a pompous bloviator is an illiterate redneck. McWhorter, exactly like Obama, makes his living helping Cultural Marxists feel better about themselves.

And that's a shuck.

Posted by Rob De Witt at January 16, 2016 3:21 PM

These people speak the local language correctly in every nation except America.

Posted by pkerot at January 16, 2016 4:15 PM

RDW, your continuing attempts at mind reading are useless. As I am mindless, I don't mind; McWhorter? Who really knows other than McWhorter. At worst, he may hoping for more justifiable tolerance in his audience.
Dialects can convey meaning -- some better than others depending on context. Eskimos have umpteen terms for different qualities of snow, all of which have Eskimo survival value.
Ebonics may have saved a life or two of the speakers which would not have been the case if they'd talked like whitey. Context and purpose control sometimes.
Lastly, I do not consider you to be an 'illiterate redneck.' You state your position well. I only question the factual bases of your assumptions. Beware the laddie who doth protest too much.

Posted by Stug Guts at January 16, 2016 6:04 PM

pkerot is right.

Seems the american urban negro has carved it's own dialect based on what other than laziness?

Do they even understand each other?

Maybe that lack of understanding leads to gunfire.

I've heard groupings of them arguing and didn't understand a word, did they?

"Who bitch dis is?"

Posted by ghostsniper at January 17, 2016 4:53 AM

Everyone living in the United States right now has English (the American version) as a second language. With the exception of indigenous Indians.

All of us through our ancestors are immigrant (not the wretched type of persons giving "Immigrant" a bad name).

It's easy to picture a Swede or Polack like that but if you try harder and kinda squint your eyes you can see that Black Negro Afro-American People of Color are immigrants too.

They are trying to keep the language of their ancestors while using a form of English that gets them what they want.

When I was in the Army, one day walking to the mess hall I overheard two White guys discussing the lunch hour.

"Cheet chet?"

"Chet, choo?"

and that was that.

We haven't got into sign language yet. You know, for the deaf people. Do you suppose Blacks have different signs than Whites do? Oh, and braille, let's look at that too.
Well save those supposedly international pictures for bathrooms, food, beds, &c for another time.

Posted by chasmatic at January 17, 2016 7:25 AM

Two things: 1) Did you understand that it was scary, cold, and the place was on fire? If so, communication successful. If not, was the problem in signal, channel, or receiver?

During my time at the trade school, I found most all of my students could understand my 'standard' English, and I could understand their patois. Like when I worked at the bird farm - we had a number of Chinese employees, who spoke Chinese amongst themselves, and English (or sometimes 'Engrish') with us round-eyes.

2) Skip the academics. Bridges Out of Poverty: Strategies for Professional and Communities 2001
by Philip E. DeVol and Ruby K. Payne

'They' aren't all stupid. (Fill in the they of your choice.) Ignorance *can* be fixed. OTOH, willful ignorance and stupidity cannot.

Posted by leelu at January 17, 2016 8:00 AM

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place." George Bernard Shaw

Posted by chasmatic at January 17, 2016 12:42 PM

Chasmatic: Abso-flippin-lutely! Heh.

Best thing he ever said.

Posted by leelu at January 17, 2016 3:09 PM

All the correct, wise, expedient things we can observe about a person's state serve no purpose except as information. It may be useful at some point, even crucial, but it should never dehumanize.

I've lived among "these people" (see the question near the top) by choice, and among other less fortunate wards of more corrupt foreign states by choice, and I know full well their choices, culture, and self-deceptions as surely as God knows my own. But, the bigger wheels that turn above our heads do not diminish the person we find, when we are looking for a person.

When we are looking for a whetstone against which to press and hone the edge of our discontent, any target will suffice. I can deftly point out the stress-points, the causes, the reasons for cynicism and dismay with the best of them. And I have.

But to dehumanize is to invite your Creator to judge you according to your own unattainable-even-to-yourself sense of righteousness. May He have mercy on us all.

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at January 17, 2016 6:02 PM

Well spoke Joan. Part of the message Jesus imparted. It is hard, though, and I only have two cheeks.

Posted by chasmatic at January 17, 2016 9:44 PM

A person is only entitled to the peculiarities which he has payed for. This women has extracted her lifestyle from strangers.

Posted by james wilson at January 19, 2016 10:57 AM

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