Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 23:58:48 -0500


Subject: Posts and Getting Along

ADS-L was created as a forum for discussing and furthering the interests

and goals of the American Dialect Society.

To make short shrift of the questions raised in recent posts, which were

discussed long before Jesse or I became the list-owners, it is not in the

best interests of ADS-L to moderate discussion or to limit participation to

dues paying members of ADS. Either option amounts to censoring the

variation in speech and language that we say we aim to describe.

To pursue an example, the language that Steve, one of my students, used in

his comments about AAVE was no less rude than some of the replies to his

remarks. But the "professionals" took offense.

The result is that you have silenced his voice.

But perhaps you professionals need to know what voice you have silenced.

Steve is a black american from Mississipi. He finds the concept of

African-American to be objectionable. He is not from Africa, and there

is no cultural heritage from Africa that informs or defines who he is.

Steve found the comments of the so-called white male professionals about the

language that he and his family speak everyday to be *crap* and he said so.

Perhaps he did not follow some concept of "netiquette" in so doing. Is

that a reason to deny the truth of what he had to say? Was that an

excuse for being rude to him?

Several of my students were excited about examining language variation.

The attitude expressed by some members of this list has

destroyed entirely their enthusiasm and opportunities have been lost.

Everything Jody wrote rings true with me. We need to live with each

other and accept ourselves as we are. What else is there?

Virtually, Terry


Terry Lynn Irons t.irons[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Voice Mail: (606) 783-5164

Snail Mail: UPO 604 Morehead, KY 40351