Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 19:24:05 -0500

From: Gregory {Greg} Downing downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IS2.NYU.EDU

Subject: Re: "it's all good"

At 07:01 PM 11/3/97 "Margaret G. Lee -English" mlee[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] wrote:

Exactly what are "authentic-sounding vernacular locutions"? Who or what

determines authenticity? While no one has a monopoly on linguistic

innovation, the linguistic contributions of African-Americans cannot be


I was responding to a rather impassioned and I thought, as a general idea,

perhaps well-taken protest against the occasional tendency to assume that

any new slang not otherwise identifiable is AAVE. Linguistic innovation

happens in lots of ways, he seemed to be implying, and I thought I agreed. I

hope no-one on the list would overlook *any* kinds of contributions to

linguistic innovation, but the person to whom I was responding felt that

there was maybe a reflexive attitude at times about linguistic innovations

and AAVE. Maybe you'd quote his post and address his points if you disagree

with him; I can forward you a copy, if you like.

You mentioned in your last post in this thread that, "as with much slang

that eventually enters mainstream usage, "It's all good" originated in the

African American community about four years ago, essentially a product of

hip-hop/rap culture." I think tracking the phrase to ground wherever that

leads is the point of the exercise, and if you know for sure where and how

it originated, post the citations and the thread will naturally close.

Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]