Date: Fri, 10 Oct 1997 08:02:50 -0400


Subject: Re: The Lords Prayer/Ebonics

On Thu, 9 Oct 1997, Salikoko Mufwene wrote:

Perhaps we cannot prevent people from creating websites where incorrect

information is disseminated. Perhaps we should even tolerate their

I find this an odd statement coming from someone who studies language

usage. Although there is no doubt that the fabricated Ebonics example

Carol sent bears little resemblance to how an "Ebonics speaker" might use

the dialect, there also is little doubt that this language variety is

regular misconstrued by non speakers. Seems that as language scholars,

this misappropriation of a dialect -- i.e., "incorrect" examples of

Ebonics flying around the net -- should be part of our knowledge

inventory. Thus, ADS-L is precisely the type of venue where these

examples should be shared. To label any language usage as "incorrect"

when people actually use it seems oxymoronic, which is to say contrary to

the history of the American Dialect Society's century long mission.

Al Futrell

-- awfutr01[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]


Dept of Communication -- University of Louisville