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.