Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 10:13:24 -0500

From: "Jeutonne P. Brewer" jpbrewer[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]HAMLET.UNCG.EDU

Subject: Word of the year

I propose the word "Ebonics" as the word of the year. It has

probably prompted more discussion about language and dialect--

both negative and postive--than any other word.

The Oakland school board created much controversy of course.

Although AAVE is widely used in language journals, I don't

think I have ever heard anyone use AAVE outside a circle of

specialists. I object to the use of "vernacular" in the

term, an objection that I have had since the early 1980s.

Until we consistently use "vernacular" with other terms, such

as Southern dialect, Northern dialect, Yiddish English, Chicano

English, etc., we make, in my opinion, an unfortunate distinction

for African American English. Enough of this soap boax topic.

I don't think anyone has submitted "Ebonics" for WOTY. I think

that it is definitely a strong candidate.

Jeutonne Brewer