Date: Fri, 10 Jan 1997 12:17:28 CST

From: Ellen Johnson Ellen.Johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]WKU.EDU

Subject: Ebonics and parody

This is hilarious. Forwarded from ling anth list. Ellen

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Subject: Ebonics and parody

Author: "Mark Allen Peterson" editor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] at INETGW

Date: 1/10/97 12:11 PM

A friend of mine pulled this off the web and sent it to me. In light of

the ebonics discussions, I thought it might be of interest:


by John Woestendiek

Philadelphia Inquirer

Wed., January 8, 1997


NEWS BULLETIN: Saying it will improve the education of children who have

grown up immersed in computer lingo, the school board in San Jose, Calif.,

has officially designated computer English, or "Geekonics", as a second


The historic vote on Geekonics - a combination of the word "geek" and the

word "phonics" - came just weeks after the Oakland school board recognized

black English, or Ebonics, as a distinct language.

"This entirely reconfigures our parameters," Milton "Floppy" Macintosh,

chairman of Geekonics Unlimited, said after the school board became the

first in the nation to recognize Geekonics.

"No longer are we preformatted for failure," Macintosh said during a

celebration that saw many Geekonics backers come dangerously close to

smiling. "Today, we are rebooting, implementing a program to process the

data we need to interface with all units of humanity."

Controversial and widely misunderstood, the Geekonics movement was spawned

in California's Silicon Valley, where many children have grown up in

households headed by computer technicians, programmers, engineers and

scientists who have lost ability to speak plain English and have

inadvertently passed on their high-tech vernacular to their children.


While schools will not teach the language, increased teacher awareness of

Geekonics, proponents say, will help children make the transition to

standard English. Those students, in turn, could possibly help their


learn to speak in a manner that would lead listeners to believe that they

have actual blood coursing through their veins.

"Bit by bit, byte by byte, with the proper system development, with

nonpreemptive multitasking, I see no reason why we can't download the data

we need to modulate our oral output," Macintosh said.

The designation of Ebonics and Geekonics as languages reflects a growing

awareness of our nation's lingual diversity, experts say.

Other groups pushing for their own languages and/or vernaculars to be

declared official viewed the Geekonics vote as a step in the right


"This is just, like, OK, you know, the most totally kewl thing, like,


said Jennifer Notat-Albright, chairwoman of the Committee for the

Advancement of Valleyonics, headquartered in Southern California. "I mean,

like, you know?" she added.


"Yeee-hah," said Buford "Kudzu" Davis, president of the Dixionics


"Y'all gotta know I'm as happy as a tick on a sleeping bloodhound about


Spokesmen for several subchapters of Dixionics - including Alabonics,

Tennesonics and Louisionics - also said they approved of the decision.

Bill Flack, public information officer for the Blue Ribbon Task Force on

Bureaucratonics said that his organization would not comment on the San


vote until it convened a summit meeting, studied the impact, assessed the

feasibility, finalized a report and drafted a comprehensive action plan,

which, once it clears the appropriate subcommittees and is voted on, will


made public to those who submit the proper information-request forms.

Proponents of Ebonics heartily endorsed the designation of Geekonics as an

official language.

"I ain't got no problem wif it," said Earl E. Byrd, president of the


Institute. "You ever try talkin' wif wunna dem computer dudes? Don't


if it be a white computer dude or a black computer dude; it's like you be

talkin' to a robot - RAM, DOS, undelete, MegaHertZ. Ain't nobody

understands. But dey keep talkin' anyway. 'Sup wif dat?"

Those involved in the lingual diversity movement believe that only by

enacting many different English languages, in addition to all the foreign

ones practiced here, can we all end up happily speaking the same boring


becoming a nation that is both unified in its diversity, and diversified


its unity.

Others say that makes no sense at all. In any language.

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From: "Mark Allen Peterson" editor[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

To: "Linganth" linganth[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Subject: Ebonics and parody

Date: Fri, 12 Jan 1996 12:53:53 -0500

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