Date: Sun, 23 Nov 1997 18:31:48 -0500


Subject: Re: Lippi-Green's Eng with an Accent

Interesting that this issue of stereotypes should come up this weekend.

I happened to hear part of "What Do You Know" on NPR Saturday (a

terrible show, but sometimes I leave the radio on after "Car Talk"),

and who should be the guest of the day but Jim Crotty. He did part of

his stand-up road show on slang (read "dialects") and then launched

into a description of "Rap Talk," which he equated with "Ebonics."

Citing the usual oppositions ('bad'=good, etc.), he then said that to

do it right one should just forget about tense and use lots of "be's"

instead. The audience laughter was lukewarm, fortunately. When he was

asked how sales of his _How To Talk American_ were going, he answered

"pretty mediocre." Please, Mr. Crotty, drop the shtik; there's lots of

good scholarly stuff out there, if you really want to know something

about dialects.