Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 10:25:14 EST


Subject: "my bad"

First of all, thanks for the input. The Bob Greene column has in fact

appeared, in last Monday's Chicago Tribune. A colleague writing on a different

topic appends the note

p.s. We read your name quoted in Bob Greene's article on 'my bad'. I

think it's a good sign when linguists are quoted in the same section of

the paper where Cathy vaunts her neuroses, Brenda Starr gets her man, and

Ann Landers excretes advice.

Unfortunately, while I was waiting for the smoking gun before calling Greene

back, he put the column to press. Evidently (I haven't seen it yet, but it

will eventually be posted on the archives at

columns/greene/archives/97/archives.htm) his conclusion coincides with the

general consensus here: origin in pick-up basketball games, gradual incorpor-

ation from AAVE to general youth culture through other sports contexts, helped

along by that occurrence in the movie "Clueless". --Larry